Barbara Keeley MP


Musicians and Brexit

The creative industries are vital to our country’s economy and to our sense of national identity. We are world leaders in producing some of the most important performers, artists and musicians in the world and have a duty to do everything we can to make sure they are able to access the world stage.

As Chair of the APPG on Classical Music, I appreciate the concerns raised by the Performers Alliance about the impact of leaving the European Union. The possible work permissions required to travel once we leave the European Union could unfairly impact a musician’s ability to tour and perform. In the APPG on Classic Music we have had a number of discussions about the need for Orchestras to be able to recruit musicians at the last minute and the need for those musicians to be able to travel quickly with all of their instruments. It is vital that the Conservative Government plan for the requirements of musicians and properly consider the role of the Boarder Agency in creating an efficient goods check system.

I understand that the Arts Council has serious concerns about the potential loss of EU funding streams and the impact on intellectual property rights. If we are to remain a world leader in the cultural sector then the Conservative Government must provide certainty to the performers, artists and musicians that rely on the European Union for support.

During the last Parliament the Conservative Government indicated that it would like free movement of all people connected with the arts to be a priority for negotiations with the EU. We are yet to see any evidence that this has been a priority in the Brussels discussions so far. I believe that the Conservative Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Ministers must take seriously the concerns of organisations within the Arts Sector and demand that senior Conservative Ministers take on board the thoughts of these organisations.

At the General Election I stood on a manifesto which committed to put the creative sector at the centre of Brexit negotiations and our future industrial strategy. In July of this year, our Film Industry was reported as being key to securing economic growth across and as played a fundamental role in stabilising the British economy. The Conservative Government must take into consideration how important the Cultural Sector is to the success of our economy, particularly as we go through the instability of exiting the European Union.

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