A new official UK government report recommends post-Brexit rules for migrants that could jeopardize the UK music industry. The Government Migration Advisory Committee calls for a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 / $38,000 USD for musicians and other skilled migrants seeking five-year visas.
Requiring musicians, songwriters and producers from the EU to earn salaries of at least £30,000 / $38,000 USD to work in the UK poses a major threat to the music industry where music creators earn on average £20,504 / $26,000, far below the average for other EU jobs.
If it becomes law, this benchmark seems likely to extend to musicians from other countries, if for no other reason than to avoid being declared discriminatory by British courts. That restriction could also trigger reciprocal restrictions from other countries.
The UK music industry is not pleased.
‘The end of freedom of movement will have a devastating impact on British musicians. The introduction of harsher immigration rules after Brexit will cause declining diversity and creativity in the British music industry," said Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians who leads campaign Save Music. "While it is good news that Government does not intend to immediately introduce a £30,000 minimum income threshold for new immigrants, we do urge for any future plans to be abandoned. Such threshold is not compatible with the music profession, where earnings can be less."
“The UK music industry contributes £4.5bn to the economy, with live music alone contributing around £1bn," said UK Music CEO Michael Dugher. "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. 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. "