UK Music CEO Michael Dugher warns on no-deal Brexit 'disruption'

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher warns on no-deal Brexit 'disruption'

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher has highlighted “growing concerns” about the impact of a no-deal Brexit and warned of its impact on touring.

In a letter to the Home Secretary Priti Patel, Dugher stated that the introduction of VAT on merchandising and carnets on the transport of equipment could result in the loss of income of around 40% for acts touring across the European Union.

He also urged the Government to provide clarity amid conflicting reports about the prospect of an immediate end to freedom of movement. 

Dugher suggested that the current information provided by the Government about a no-deal Brexit is “worryingly inadequate”.

“Such a policy would cause considerable disruption to the international live music touring industry, in terms of UK artists travelling to the EU for concerts and vice versa,” he said.

“It would also run contrary to existing Government guidance which currently indicates EU citizens will continue to be able to enter the UK to work for up to three months even in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

“If an alternative cliff edge’ policy is pursued in relation to freedom of movement it could result in retaliation from EU member states, requiring UK musicians to apply for expensive and bureaucratic visas and work permits in order to continue to tour the EU, severely harming our ability to enhance our export potential following recent year to year growth of 7%.”

This could have a drastic impact on our members' ability to sell merchandise

Michael Dugher

Dugher’s intervention comes as MPs are divided over the prospect of a no-deal departure from the EU on October 31. 

Dugher said that extra costs and red tape at borders could be a major blow to the live music industry, which relied on the swift and easy movement of artists, equipment and merchandise across EU borders.

He outlined fears that a no-deal Brexit could have a drastic impact on the ability of UK artists, promoters and others involved in the industry to cover the costs of touring in the EU.

“We are also concerned about the impact that a no-deal Brexit could have on the ability of the UK music industry to sell merchandising and move equipment when they are touring in mainland Europe,” added Dugher.

“According to Government guidance for a no-deal Brexit, anyone bringing goods into or taking goods out of the UK in baggage or a small vehicle which they intend to use for business will be forced to declare the goods and pay import duty and VAT before moving them across the border.

“This could have a drastic impact on our members' ability to sell merchandise and transport equipment on European tours and result in a loss of income of up to 40%, threatening the viability of future tours and damaging Britain’s export earnings.”

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