Just in: UK Musicians Union calls for post-Brexit visa

Just in: UK Musicians Union calls for post-Brexit visa


norman lebrecht

September 20, 2018

Message received:

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is calling on Government and Parliament to introduce a European Union (EU) touring visa for musicians working in the EU post-Brexit.

Any EU touring visa must be affordable, multi-entry, admin-light and cover all EU member states.

Musicians, fans and all those who want to see music remain a viable career are encouraged to sign the petition calling on Government and Parliament to introduce this visa.

More detail here.


  • Mark says:

    Lebrecht likes to bang on about Musicians view of brexit. We can see he’s a remainer. Perhaps part of the 2nd Ref brigade !

    • Alan O’Connor says:

      Indeed. And what would be wrong with second referendum now that the British people can see what a pup they have been sold. Surely you’re not afraid you would lose.

      If nothing else a win would mean an end to the moaning and when it all goes down the tubes the British voter can well and truly blame only one person.

      • John Rook says:

        I hear the Germans would like to replay the 1966 World Cup final as it wasn’t the right result for them, either.

        In any case, it’s a well-known fact that no-one ever performed abroad before GB joined the Common Market…

        • Craig says:

          You truly have no idea how the business currently works if you believe all will be fine and dandy for orchestras post Brexit. A 24h round trip to a European city to perform, as many orchestras are want to do to make ends meet nowadays, requires not much more than an A1 form from the players. Post Brexit? Who knows. It could be the death knell for quite a few bands. There’s just no money in it anymore.

          ‘Oh, well it’ll survive, the business has always adapted’, say the Brexiteers. Doubt it.

        • Mark says:

          Yes the UK Europhile federalist superstate Brits last stand

      • Minutewaltz says:

        ‘If nothing else a win would mean an end to the moaning and when it all goes down the tubes the British voter can well and truly blame only one person.’

        Blame who?

      • Allen says:

        “British people can see what a pup they have been sold”

        Is this the same breed of pup that was sold to the people of Greece when they signed up for the Euro?

        • Brettermeier says:

          “Is this the same breed of pup that was sold to the people of Greece when they signed up for the Euro?”

          You really should look up how those things work. The “people of Greece” didn’t sign up for anything.

          Btw., it was Greece that pimped their financial statements to get the Euro. That the EU was happy to have them is another matter. But it was the Greeks elected government that sold them out. In a way, they still do.

          • Saxon Broken says:

            The rest of the EU were NOT happy to have them. They designed the rules to ensure Greece wouldn’t be eligible to join. But they could not openly say the Greeks were lying when the Greeks claimed to have met the criteria; they had to, very reluctantly, let the Greeks join.

      • Brettermeier says:

        “And what would be wrong with second referendum”

        And what would be wrong with a third, fourth… Exactly, that’s what would be wrong.

        Additionally, it would divide the UK even more: The Brexit guys would cry out in pain that they were betrayed (which is quite right, but they are betrayed either way 😀 ).

        It’s better this way. The remain faction hopefully will accept that they were pretty lazy when their action literally would have counted (and see that a protest pro Brexit vote now proves to be pretty dumb in hindsight), the Brexit faction may now cheer in joy that democracy isn’t dead yet. Best possible outcome for this venture of stupidity.

      • Mark london says:

        Ah there we are.. the whining continues

  • Mike Schachter says:

    But it is not for the UK government to allow British musicians into EU countries, any visa should come from them? This is not a practical idea, just propaganda.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Exactly. It would be up to the EU to allow one visa to cover all the EU countries. It really would not be up to the UK what arrangements the EU made.

      • Bill says:

        Agreed, but such a thing is more likely to happen if it is part of the discussion than if it is not.

        • buxtehude says:

          Compared to the great long list of other things lined up to fall into red tape and confusion with the Exit, the UK will most likely consider the musicians’ visa very small potatoes, to small to trouble about.

          It’s long ago given up on “passporting” financial services, on which the City depends — who would have imagined this at the beginning?

          • Bill says:

            Can’t argue with any of that – but maybe it will be seen as something that can be given away at little cost in exchange for something else. Bargaining chips come in a range of sizes and shapes, and politicians always like to be able to trumpet their success at something. In any case, better chance of success if someone in the room is asking than if not.

          • buxtehude says:

            Yes yes yes but at the moment May can’t save the British auto industry, with its tens of thousands of employees who expect to be paid every week, against what is almost about to happen. The “frictionless” non-border its continuance requires would only come at the cost of very major things May has long insisted she won’t offer.

            What do you suggest that she offer the EU for your special musicians’ passport? In the midst of all this?

            There are three million Europeans living in the UK (3,000,000) who’ve yet to receive real assurance of being allowed to remain, and on current terms. One of her bargaining chips. There is at present zero assurance that Brits visiting or living in the EU will be covered under its countries’ health insurance programs — a list of only the most dire unresolved issues would take many pages.

  • buxtehude says:

    Preposterous on its face, but — if the govt obliged — would be just one more instance of its demanding a special favor as right. But Britannia is surrendering its rights.

    • Mike Schachter says:

      Do American orchestras and ensembles ask for special privileges before visiting the EU? Did the Baltimore and Minneapolis orchestras have exceptional permission to play at the Proms?It is as preposterous as saying everyone will have to pay roaming charges in the EU, several networks have at home arrangements with as many as 60 countries, of which two-thirds are outside the EU.

  • Anon says:

    Bizarre proposition. It’s for the EU to grant any right to travel in the EU, not the UK government! This petition is targeting the wrong people. If people asked questions of the right places they might be taken more seriously.

    • V.Lind says:

      Yes, really — visas are not cards to let you out (I believe such documents used to be needed in the former Comm countries) but to let you in, and the requirements are dictated by the visited, not the visitor.

      Better these antsy musicians apply to the government to include the special needs of musicians — as opposed to businesses engaged in deals with other EU countries on an ongoing basis who need to get in and out often, or charity campaigners, or students, or any other category of lesser mortals — on their priority list. Right behind an Irish border and tariff considerations.

      Wake up.

      • Bill says:

        They are musicians, not government ministers – is no slack to be given for knowing the end result they (think they) want, if not the appropriate way to implement it?