We’re all aware of the current Brexit situation. Boris Johnson seems to be doing everything he can to ensure the UK has no option but to leave the EU without a deal on October 31st 2019. Although he keeps claiming the UK and the EU have made progress during talks, the EU outright said that nothing had come close to resembling any kind of progress in negotiations. Although the EU has clearly stated they are willing to work with the UK to enable millions of British and European citizens to continue to live, work and travel freely between the member states, the UK obviously has no intention of reciprocating this. The Conservative party want to end freedom of movement, permanently.

Now, the UK’s Home Office minister Brandon Lewis has said if any EU citizen is not registered under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme, they will be deported from the United Kingdom. This obviously includes musicians. Speaking to the German newspaper, Die Welt, Mr Lewis said: “If EU citizens until this point of time have not registered and have no adequate reason for it, then the valid immigration rules will be applied.”

The BBC reported that a spokesperson for, the3million, an organisation for EU citizens in the UK, campaigning for all to retain their existing rights after Brexit, were rightly outraged at the words of Mr Lewis. “Today, after much wait, it is confirmed that hundreds and thousands of people will be punished with the threat of removal from their home. This is no way to treat people, let alone what was promised” said Maike Bohn, a representative of the group.

Now, of course, if you’re an EU citizen you can simply register for the right to stay in the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, however, you still need to meet certain criteria which many European musicians are likely to fall short. Given the fact many musicians are limited in terms of the type of work they can apply for, or companies that are willing to hire them due to conflicting touring schedules, many may find they cannot stay in the UK. The process itself also doesn’t look as simple as the Government appear to make out.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you will have until December of this year to apply to stay in the UK, after this, it seems the government will impose new immigration laws which would mean you can no longer come and go as you please, being a UK or EU citizen.

Even if you were born in the UK and you’re not a British Citizen, you will need to apply which means you’re now treated as an immigrant in a country you could have lived in for many years. “you need to apply even if you: were born in the UK but are not a British citizen” as stated on GOV.UK

You need to have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time “To be eligible for settled status, you usually need to have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period for 5 years in a row” and you also need to be able to provide evidence that you’ve actually lived in the UK. “you’ll not need to provide any documents as proof of residence”. For many musicians, this will be close to impossible given the very nature of your day to day existence as a musician.

According to the3million, to qualify to apply for the settled status you will need to present a wide range of documents to prove you have lived in the UK for the required amount of time. Documents include bank statements, utility bills, rental agreements, employment contracts, payslips and you also need to be registered with your local council.

An obvious issue here is many EU musicians that come to the UK don’t have official documents as they don’t always need to have UK bank accounts or even rental agreements so this could prove very difficult for many EU musicians. Being a musician can often lead to a very sporadic lifestyle, moving constantly and often not keeping hold of old paperwork because it’s either pointless taking it with you, or the obvious one, for the last 5 years you didn’t know you might be kicked out of a country you thought you were safe in, so why would you hold on to it in the first place?

The government have not made it clear when they intend to start deporting people but they seem to imply that if you have not applied for settled status by the end of the year, your right to stay will no longer be valid as an EU citizen.

If you have conerns please visit the3Million for help.

Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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