UK Music boss says Home Office’s ‘clueless’ immigration blueprint threatens to ‘pull the rug from under Britain’s world-leading music industry’

The long-awaited White Paper was published earlier today

UK Music have urged the Government to listen to calls of concern from the industry regarding new proposals to limit immigration.

Published today (December 19), the White Paper sets out proposals of new laws and post-Brexit rules for migrants before they formally go through to a government bill.

In the document, the Government announced 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.

Brexit

A press release states that if the approach of the White Paper is agreed, the UK’s cultural industries could suffer retaliation from EU member states. This means that the artists that need to cross borders to work could be hit with red tape and extra costs.

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher has now responded by warning the Government not to jeopardise the UK’s world-leading music industry.

“The UK music industry contributes £4.5bn to the economy, with live music alone contributing around £1bn,” Dugher says.

“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.”

Dugher argues that “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.”

He adds: “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.”

Last month, Dugher warned against knock-on effects for live music and touring artists in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Earlier this year, The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) also warned of the potential effects of a bad Brexit deal. They said that a “strong” agreement with the EU is needed to ensure that the financial impact of music imports and exports is not negatively impacted by Britain’s exit.