European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implications for Professional Musicians and Performers

I fully appreciate the vital contribution made by the creative industries to our economy and national life and I appreciate the concerns that have been raised by the Performers’ Alliance, which includes the Musicians’ Union and Equity, that the possible introduction of work permissions and/or visas could have a detrimental impact on British performers touring and working in Europe.

The Government has said that it recognises that the UK music industry is a global leader and that it will be working closely with the industry to ensure the UK gets the best deal for British music, both in Europe and around the world. During the last Parliament, the Government also indicated that it would like free movement of all people connected with the arts to be a priority for negotiations with the EU.

I believe that the Government must adopt an approach to Brexit that protects jobs, trade and the economy and at the recent General Election in Ipswich I stood on a manifesto which committed to put the creative sector at the centre of Brexit negotiations and our future industrial strategy. I understand the serious concerns that the creative industries have about Brexit, from the potential loss of EU funding streams, to the ability of artists to travel and perform, and the impact on intellectual property rights.

It is vital that we get the right deal to ensure our creative industries are not shackled by Brexit. I would like the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to be represented on the Brexit cabinet committee so that the creative industries have a voice in government on the crucial decisions that will affect the Brexit negotiations.

I will ask that the Government will consider including representatives of the workforce on the Creative Industries Council.

I can assure you I will continue to stand up for our creative sector as we negotiate our exit from the EU.