‘Touring acts at risk’ – UK Music slams immigration proposals

Live music - music venue - Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has responded to proposed new rules for migrants post-Brexit, warning it could jeopardise the UK music industry.

Published yesterday, the White Paper sets out proposals for new laws and post-Brexit rules for migrants. The document includes a consultation on the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation for there to be a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas.

If agreed, it could mean that artists needing to travel could be hit with restrictions and costs.

Urging the Government to listen to concerns from the music industry, Dugher said: ‘The UK music industry contributes £4.5bn to the economy, with live music alone contributing around £1bn.

‘As we’ve made repeatedly clear, a crude salaries and skills approach to freedom to work post-Brexit just doesn’t work for so many artists and musicians. We risk limiting the ability for European musicians to play in our world-leading festivals, venues and studios.’

He added: ‘If this approach is reciprocated by the EU and there is no visa waiver in place, we risk making it very hard, if not impossible, for so many UK artists to tour in EU. This is how they build an audience and frankly make any kind of living from music.

‘It is frustrating in the extreme that there are still some people in government who have their fingers in their ears. This is utterly clueless. It’s vital that we don’t pull the rug from under Britain’s world-leading music industry.’

Dugher’s comments follow last week’s news that Annie Lennox, Jamie Cullum, Paloma Faith and David Arnold were among the award-winning musicians to sign a letter calling for an alternative to the Brexit deal.