UK body the Independent Society of Musicians has published its sixth report on the impact that the UK’s exit from the European Union (‘Brexit’) has had on musicians.
Based on canvassing more than 400 musicians and music industry professionals, it paints a stark picture of “an enormously damaging effect on [British] musicians’ ability to work in Europe”.
Specifically, the report claims that 47.4% of respondents have had less work in the EU after January 2021 (the date when the UK’s withdrawal agreement was implemented) while 27.8% have had no EU work at all.
39% have had to turn down work for Brexit-related reasons, while 40% have had work cancelled.
The ISM’s chief executive Deborah Annetts offered some blunt criticism of the British government’s approach.
“The government has been asleep on the job. It could have tackled many of the issues facing the music sector by itself and made Brexit work. It chose not to,” she said.
“Brexit should never have meant that musicians cannot share their talent freely with our closest neighbours. This damages our country, our soft power and our precious creative talent pipeline.”
The report offers a number of recommendations for solving the challenges. Whether the government has any interest in taking that advice remains to be seen.