BECTU’S newly formed Live Events Network set up the Brexit Working Group in Spring 2021 out of frustration with the governments lack of willingness to help people from the live events industries who work in Europe.
The government has repeatedly released spin on the issues that workers face on work permits, visas, carnets to name a few obstacles faced following Brexit. Whilst continuing to not deliver on their pre-referendum promises that people working in the arts in the EU will not be affected by post Brexit trade and movement restrictions.
The Brexit Working Group (BWG) has been set up to apply pressure to the government for a unilaterally agreed Arts Passport enabling workers across the creative sectors to travel freely throughout the EU whilst working. The BWG also plans to expose ‘spin’ released by the government and help workers keep up to date with the ever changing rules and restrictions when working in the EU.
BWG has been very active in the short time it has been operational. BWG chair Myles Hayden of the Northern Live Events Network has been submitting a series of Freedom of Information requests asking for all written correspondence between the EU and Great Britain reading visa’s etc, including details of all formal proposals made by either side during these negotiations. After 4 months of various government departments stallings and deflections the Cabinet Office eventually admitted, they do hold this information however they will not release it under Section 27 of the freedom of information request acts which “would, or would be likely to prejudice the interests of the United Kingdom abroad”. This decision is in the appeal process right now.
Members along with Helen Ryan (head of A&E) are in the process of negotiating a series of discounts with carnet companies and visa services across the EU and worldwide. Keep an eye on your inbox and BECTU’s social media channels for an announcement on this very soon!! The BWG hosted Tim Brennan on the BECTU stand at PLASA 2021 and subsequently Tim has become the newest member of the Live Events Network family. The Brexit Working Group (BWG) have also been providing support for the Carry on Touring/Let the Music play/Thank EU for the music protest at the the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 11th September.
Carry on Touring have written an open letter to Oliver Dowden, we strongly urge all BECTU members, friends, family etc to sign and share. This issue affects nearly everyone in the creative sectors and further a field either directly or indirectly. You can sign the letter here:
Finally BECTU general secretary Noel Mclean continued his brilliant and unrelenting work representing BECTU members in parliament on the issues that Brexit has presented us with. Noel was in an evidence session with the House of Lords European Affairs Committee next on the 14th September regarding the impact of Brexit and Touring for both Live Events and Theatres. This was not the first time Noel has been representing members on a political level and his invaluable work shows the power of being in a union and what collective action is about.
For the latest up to date information about working in the EU please visit:
You can also help the campaign by donating to Carry On Touring here www.carryontouring.uk
If you are looking to work in the EU and still need information on how to travel and work legally you can message Myles Hayden – chair of BWG on firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to discuss your options