A UK maestro asks: What shall I do after Brexit

A well known British conductor who works extensively in Austria, Germany and Spain has approached us with some practical questions that no-one, it seems, can answer.

Here’s what he would like to know:

Under EU rules, you give a resident country and in Austria and Germany you get taxed as an Auslander. Paying no local social security.
From April what will we need?
Work visas? Pay local rates of tax and social security??
If we have to pay extra social security in Europe, will the UK Government reduce our Class IV contributions?
Can anyone help?

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  • I‘d suggest that so-called well known conductor asks one of those Brexiteers what he/she should do. Why not apply for a German or Austrian passport.

    • Brexiteers never answer such questions. Instead they start shouting about never giving-up their right to decision-making. When that line of argument fails, they usually resort to personal abuse, off-topic blather, waving the Union Jack, and singing ‘Rule, Brittania’.

      • The Government’s handling of the negotiations regarding the UK’s departure from the European Union has been shamefully incompetent and led to a general feeling of national humiliation and don’t think that it is fair to blame those who voted in favour of leaving for the ‘well known conductor’s’ lack of knowledge about the future regulations that will apply to his work.

        [Nor, in passing, do I recognise the picture of the personal abusing, off-topic blathering and Union Flag waving Brexiteer.]

        If the relevant regulations are as yet unformulated then it’s the Goverment’s poor conduct in setting calendar targets for departure milestones that is to blame.

        Sadly I have no recipe for improving the situation and sympathise with the anonymous musical gentleman.

        • Huh? Saying it is “the fault of the government rather than those who voted Brexit” because it has turned out to be more complicated than they thought is bizarre. And the Brexit voters seem to find it hard to understand that negotiations require agreement between the two parties, not just Britain turning up and telling the Europeans what it wants. (Hint: they don’t want to give the Brexiteers what they want…and why should they. Hence any deadline the British government sets is moot.)

      • “When that line of argument fails, they usually resort to personal abuse, off-topic blather, waving the Union Jack, and singing ‘Rule, Brittania’.”

        No they don’t. Grow Up.

        Read John Redwood’s blog, he deals with facts, no scare stories, most of which are being dismantled one by one.

        • [[ No they don’t. Grow Up. ]

          Thanks for proving me right!! :))

          Now, get your flag out and wave it.

        • Redwood has enough money that he would be comfortable living on any island. The less-liquid rest of us however need to make smart decisions about the future, starting with cleaning up the economic turd that the 17 million who voted leave deposited on our doorstep.

      • “When that line of argument fails, they usually resort to personal abuse, off-topic blather, waving the Union Jack, and singing ‘Rule, Brittania’.”

        Wesley: “Most Brexiteers can at least spell “Britannia”, I find.”

        Allen: “No they don’t. Grow Up.”

        @Viola da Bracchio:

        Check and check. 😀

    • Gaining German citizenship is no trivial matter. Unless you have recent (within two generations) blood roots in Germany, you have to have lived in Germany legally for some time, pass a rudimentary language test, establish that you will be self-supporting, and renounce your other citizenships. (Dual citizenship is usually allowed only for people who have blood citizenship in another country.) If Well-Known Conductor lives in Britain, he or she would then be treated as any other foreigner and would require visas to live or work in the UK.

    • Sure, they give out German passports at newsagents shops. Just bring 2 passport photos and your birth certificate. 50 euros, cash only.

  • The answer to all of these questions is “Who knows” as clearly our Government have not bothered with trifling details like people’s livelihoods. Our inquisitive maestro is in no different position that the rest of us. He/she will just have to wait until engulfed in the mayhem to come. Meanwhile I suggest that we all just wonder at the sheer incompetence of our politicians who 3 weeks before the most momentous exodus from Europe since Dunkirk still have no idea about the consequences of their perfidy.

    • Given the politicians are elected by the voters, perhaps the blame attaches to those who have chosen the politicians.

  • There is a useful guide on what happens under the Withdrawal Agreement here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/2018-11-26_qa_citizens_rights_en_0.pdf

    If there is no deal then I assume the rights people have at the moment under EU law will end and the conductor will need to look at whatever emergency “no-deal” provisions have been put in place by the German and Austrian governments (like France and Spain have done, for example).

    • The smart money seems to be on Robert King, whose career on the continent has gone from strength to strength over the past decade or so, seemingly after he was the beneficiary of royal patronage here in the UK.

      • Not me asking such questions. I hope Graeme Jenkins manages to get a clear answer out of HMRC: their A-1 unit are usually very helpful.

  • Probably what everyone had to do prior to 1973, I’d imagine. International travel wasn’t invented once we’d joined the Common Market. I started working in Germany in 1987 and many of my colleagues were Austrian. They had to fill in reams of paperwork (Austria not being in the EEC at that time – yes, the names change) but – guess what – they did, and there they were; working, earning and contributing to their pensions. Life goes on and we all deal with it. There was a way of doing things before and there will be, again.

    • [[ out in force with their drivel ]]

      Another kipper scores ad-hominem bonus points! 🙂

      Empty content + kneejerk bloviation = the Brexiteer’s dream. Tune in to Mr Barrage on LBC Radio to get your daily dose of this.

      • Whereas your posts are the height of civility…. You might, assuming you are equipped to do so, try to think about why people hold views that are different to your own and not just lash out aggressively whenever you come across such a person online.

        • Still waiting for answers to the very real questions hanging over the heads of working musicians in Britain. So far all we’ve had has been

          “Sadly I have no recipe for improving the situation”

          and piffling suggestions about ‘getting German citizenship’ from clueless people who have not the slightest idea what their Know-It-All ‘suggestion’ involves.

          You have been the principle ad-hominem slinger here. You’ve contributed nothing to the debate excapt insults.


          • “You have been the principle ad-hominem slinger here. You’ve contributed nothing to the debate excapt insults.”

            You’re making yourself look very silly now. Re-read your own posts: a bit of self-awareness might be in order.

  • It’s a global convention that you only pay social security in one country. However, this has to be subject to a Social Security Co-ordination Agreement (just as withholding tax is subject to bilateral tax treaties). For example, the USA has social security agreements with all 28 countries of the EU. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it will take ages to negotiate agreements between the UK and the 27 EU countries, during which time there is a risk of being double-charged social security contributions.

  • Aren’t these the kinds of questions that a good management, such as HarrisonParrott, for example, would be able to answer? Perhaps the well known anonymous maestro needs to reconsider his management arrangements. I am guessing that the maestro is not Steuart Bedford or Harry Christophers, for example.

  • One wonders whether the well known anonymous maestro will be visiting to acknowledge the advice given. Presumably he is detained elsewhere (by conducting commitments, presumably).

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