Blog: How touring musicians are hit by Brexit – Yorkshire Post Letters – Yorkshire Post

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How touring musicians are hit by Brexit – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Marcus Cain, Weetwood, Leeds.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 4:39 pm

British-German musician Simon Wallfisch poses with his cello outside Europe House in London on January 10, 2019 before his monthly musical performance to protest against Britain's exit from the European Union.
British-German musician Simon Wallfisch poses with his cello outside Europe House in London on January 10, 2019 before his monthly musical performance to protest against Britain’s exit from the European Union.

IT’S no secret that Brexit is a disaster for touring musicians and crew.

Industry bodies were warning about the potential impact of leaving the European Union prior to the 2016 referendum.

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They are now being proved right, of course, and touring musicians’ careers are hanging in the balance.

Brexit is proving to be ruinous for tourising musicians.

I can speak from personal experience as a session musician. Before the 2019 general election I had several gigs in EU countries in the diary.

But after the election result – and Brexit confirmed – all my EU work was cancelled. It is easier for European promoters to find talent within the EU27.

Alarmingly, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport – responsible for the sector – doesn’t want to help.

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage says there’s little “appetite” from the Government to find a solution (Minister rejects political motive on EU visa rules, The Yorkshire Post, February 17). This is baffling, given that the music industry alone is worth £5.8bn to the 
UK economy.

It provides thousands of jobs – not just for musicians themselves but for lighting crew, haulage companies, tour managers etc.

And these jobs are already being lost to other EU countries due to the expense and red tape Brexit has imposed on us.

Ms Dinenage claimed it is not an immigration issue, despite telling the House of Commons a few weeks ago that the EU’s proposal to allow musicians to tour visa-free for 90 days in every 180 is incompatible with the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to “take back control of our borders”.

It’s abundantly clear that it is an immigration issue and I imagine the Home Office had
the final say.

The EU clearly wants a solution.

Every day our Government refuses to engage with the issue there are potentially more lifelong careers lost to the “Tory Brexit P45 Party”.

From: James Kenny, Howlett Cross, Leeds.

UNLIKE Richard Wilson, 
Leeds has long recognised 
that the world is open for business and that we should trade wherever there is a mutual beneficial interest, free of outside agents (The Yorkshire Post, February 18).

Time to wake up, smell the coffee and stop griping. We are still in Europe.

We are, however, no longer bound to an unelected 
self-serving commission.

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