Thursday, February 20, 2020

Don't panic (at least, not yet)

There's a great deal of anxiety at present about how the "end of free movement" is going to affect musicians. One way not to limit the damage is to panic. So let's not panic. There has been an announcement about it this week and I have the impression that many of us have been seeing only the worst-case scenario, because that is what we have learned, with some justification, to expect. That is not necessarily the reality. I've had a look at what the head of the Association of British Orchestras, Mark Pemberton, has to say on the subject. Here he is (quoted from a Facebook post):

EU citizens will be treated as non-visa nationals from 1 January 2021. This means that EU artists can enter the UK to perform under Permitted Paid Engagement for up to 30 days, or under the Tier 5 concession for up to 3 months. Orchestras will however need Tier 2 visas to employ permanent musicians. The big omission in the new immigration system is a route for skilled self-employed, but the government is promising to explore implementation of a route for self-employed occupations such as actors and musicians.

So, OK, it's not great, but actually it could be worse and hopefully it still stands a chance of becoming better. Nevertheless, we have yet to learn how British musicians will fare when travelling to the EU.