300 demand that Boris fix Brexit debacle

Published: 2 May 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Open letter from ISM to the Prime Minister 27 April 2021 (extract)

The Incorporated Society of Musicians, the UK's professional body for musicians and campaigners for those working in the profession, have coordinated an open letter to the Prime Minister from more than three hundred performing arts organisations.

The letter specifically calls on Boris Johnson to take action and make good the promise the made in March to the Parliamentarians Liaison Committee to undo the damage to the creative industries caused by his Brexit trade deal.

Specifically, the letter wants to see a bespoke visa waiver agreement for all creative professionals, bilateral agreements with specific EU states and help with cross-trade and haulage rules that will encumber or make it impossible to tour.

The signatories also call for an emergency funding package to meet the additional costs involved in working in Europe that have come about as a result of the Brexit trade deal.

They warn that, “work will be lost and businesses will go under” as result of inaction from the PM.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said, "it is extremely frustrating that, despite the firm commitment made by the Prime Minister last month to fix the crisis facing the creative industries, we have not witnessed any real progress achieved by his officials to deliver on this pledge.

"Unravelling the huge bureaucratic obstacles preventing touring musicians and other creative workers from working in Europe is now an urgent priority as we look beyond coronavirus, otherwise work will be lost and businesses will go under.

"This letter should send a strong message to the Prime Minister that empty promises will not cut it, and to sort this mess out the Government must negotiate a bespoke visa waiver agreement with the EU as well as bilateral deals on work permits with key EU Member States."