FreeMoveCreate has written a letter to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP and Professor Alan Manning, Chair, Migration Advisory Committee in response to recent announcements made at the Conservative Party conference on the UK’s immigration system after Brexit and following the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee’s final report EEA Migration in the UK.

Dear Mr Javid and Prof Manning,

We are writing following announcements made at Conservative Party conference on the UK’s immigration system after Brexit and following the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee’s final report EEA Migration in the UK.

FreeMoveCreate is the campaign to preserve freedom of movement for all those working in the UK creative industries after Brexit. Almost 50 organisations from across the UK’s creative sector have signed up to support the campaign.

An effective migration and work visas system is essential for the UK’s £92bn a year creative industries. However, we were concerned that both the Government’s attitude and the MAC report do not address crucial aspects of the mobility and migration systems which are vital to the UK’s creative sector.

We are particularly concerned that the Government does not appear to recognise the impact on the creative industries of reduced access to short-term work. Without the ability to travel freely for short-term work, the creative industries will suffer severely as musicians, actors, artists and other creatives face hugely increased bureaucratic burdens working in the EU27.
 
The Government and the MAC report also fail to account for the vital role played by freelancers in both the creative industries and the wider economy. Hundreds of thousands of those working in the creative industries are freelancers. Any post-Brexit migration and visas system must prevent there being additional administrative burdens faced by freelance workers, whether they are travelling to work for only a few days or if they are moving permanently.

We were also worried by the MAC report’s recommendation that the salary threshold of £30,000 should be retained. Creative professionals are very highly skilled workers, often with decades of education and training, but they are routinely employed at starting salaries below this threshold. We were disappointed that the committee did not seem to recognise that, especially in the creative industries, high skill does not necessarily mean high pay.

As we prepare to leave the EU, the Home Office must develop a visa system which ensures easy mobility for both foreign creative professionals working in the UK and British creatives working in the EEA. FreeMoveCreate’s report Musicians and Brexit, published at the end of July, revealed that 35% of British musicians have faced problems travelling abroad due to visa issues. It is unacceptable that the UK’s world-leading £92bn a year creative industries are being put at risk by restrictions such as these.

To protect the creative industries, FreeMoveCreate proposes a simple creative professionals visa, valid for two years, which allows creatives to travel easily between the EU27 and the UK after Brexit.

We would be delighted to be able to meet with you to discuss these issues. Please contact us via FreeMoveCreate@ism.org to arrange this.

Yours sincerely,

The FreeMoveCreate campaign in association with Creative Industries Foundation, DACS, Fashion Roundtable, One Dance UK, Incorporated Society of Musicians.