UK Music has been campaigning to the Government on behalf of the music industry, to highlight any potential benefits or issues that could arise as a consequence of our departure from the European Union.
The impact of Brexit continues to cast a cloud of uncertainty over the ability of those in the UK music industry to move freely around Europe, in particular given the catastrophic impact of COVID-19.
We need to achieve a system for continued cultural exchange between the UK and the EU.
A reciprocal arrangement is necessary. We continue to urge the Home Office to operate a simplified system for touring musicians, composers and crew entering the UK.
This could mean either waiving permits for short term business visits as non-visa nationals or updating the current Permitted Paid Engagement approach so its fit for purpose and better understood by immigration officials. This would offer the EU a one-stop system that does not trigger prohibitive costs and formalities.
Uncertainty remains following the announcement of the UK-EU trade deal and we urge the UK Government and the EU to come together and secure a supplemental agreement for cultural activities. This is vital to ensure that musicians and their crew can avoid the costly bureaucracy and red tape of having to navigate multiple systems when touring across the EU. This also needs to include their equipment and exemptions to avoid the reintroduction of costly and time-consuming carnets for goods such as instruments and merchandise when travelling across borders.
Looking beyond the EU, UK Music urges the Government to address the growing disparity between the cost and bureaucracy for UK artists to perform and tour in the US and those of US artists doing so in the UK in any UK / US trade negotiations.
The US, as a predominantly English-speaking nation is a key export market for the UK but also one in which UK artists arguably face some of the strongest competition.
We need to harness the demand for UK music across the world and reap the benefits of it.
Following the UK’s formal departure from the EU in 2020, supporting and growing the UK’s music industry overseas is more important than ever. New free trade agreements present an opportunity to secure this.
Whether it’s the USA, the EU, Australia, India or New Zealand, there are now new opportunities to strike exciting partnerships to grow UK music in key markets.
Overcoming market access issues, whether its impediments to copyright licensing or ensuring performers can enter without unnecessary bureaucracy should be prioritized as part of the negotiations.
Government funding for export support should also continue and be extended. Established in 2013, the BPI-administered Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) continues to be a successful part of growing UK sales abroad. Find out more about MEGS here.
Another excellent example of the work to help boost overseas trade is the PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund. Find out more about the International Showcase Fund here.
Other innovative ideas to support overseas trade during the COVID-19 pandemic should also be explored.
- Principles for Bilateral Trade Negotiations Between the UK and India
- 2025 UK Border Strategy Consultation
- UK Music Contribution House of Lords EU International Agreements Subcommittee – UK US
- UK Music Submission on Japan UK Agreement to House of Lords EU International Agreements Subcommittee
- Safeguarding Touring for EU and UK Musicians Post Transition – August 2020 Update
- New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
- Australia Free Trade Agreement
- US Free Trade Agreement
- EU Free Trade Agreement
- Japan Free Trade Agreeement