UK Music, the advocacy body for the UK’s music industry, has given its support to a group of peers and MPs which are looking to amend an immigration bill which will affect touring musicians.
The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill is being debated in the House of Lords as of 7 September. The Bill is in line with the Government’s Brexit pledge to ditch the EU law which enshrines rights regarding the free movement of people across EU borders.
The group of peers and MPs is led by Lord Clement-Jones, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music. More than 100 MPs and peers are members of the group.
They are pushing for an amendment to the Bill, which would compel Home Secretary Priti Patel to report on the impact of any immigration law changes on touring musicians. This report would have to be released within a month of the Bill becoming law.
The amendment puts pressure on the government to explain how they intend for music industry workers from EU nations to get permission to work in the UK in the new year. It also calls on the government to outline details of any deals made concerning the ability of British musicians and others to work in the EU.
UK Music Acting CEO Tom Kiehl said: “Thousands of people in the UK music industry need to move quickly and easily across Europe for their work.
“There is a real fear that without a new trading relationship in place the Government’s post-Brexit changes will seriously impede that ability and damage our world-leading industry and the music industry’s export trade which is worth £2.7 billion a year.
“The proposed amendment to the Government’s legislation would pave the way for a swift assessment of the extent of any damage caused by new restrictions on movement and support calls for there to be an agreement between the UK and EU nations on this matter.
“We are grateful to Lord Clement-Jones and his colleagues for raising this crucial issue in the House of Lords and we urge the Government to adopt it to ensure the music industry does not suffer as a result of these changes.”