Pages tagged "Campaigns"

  • Face The Music: A New Nationwide Campaign For Musicians and Artists

    ‘Leaving the EU has destroyed people’s careers.’ That’s the view of one of the classical music world’s brightest young talents, James Henshaw. It’s the view of others working in music, too.  

    From bands and instrument makers to backstage staff – the loss of freedom of movement, the ‘work-90-days-in-180’ rule, and the mind-boggling visa and carnet system – all mean one of the UK’s most successful cultural exports is being slowly destroyed. 

    It’s why our new campaign is urging the Government to stop the damage being done to the UK music industry. 

    Face The Music, led by European Movement UK, is shining a spotlight on the plight of musicians, touring artists and backstage staff, since the UK left the EU on 31st January 2020, and is urging the Government to negotiate a bilateral agreement, one which guarantees visa-free travel for UK artists in the EU, and for EU artists in the UK.  

    Our research shows a talent drain on British music, from up-and-coming stars leaving Britain to live in an EU country, to instrument makers who have lost their EU customers due to rising exports costs, to jobbing musicians who face being shut out of freelance work because they no longer hold an EU passport. 

    “I was forced to choose between my job and my country,” said James Henshaw, a rising star among conductors on the UK classical music scene, who moved from London to Germany in 2020.  

    “I knew that if I wanted to continue working, I couldn’t stay in the UK. In my own country. I felt shut out. Everyone in the classical music world is constantly moving. 8 weeks here, 8 weeks there. About 15% of my work before Brexit was in the UK, and the rest was from around the world – a lot from the EU. But after 2020, I could see that EU work drying up. Because if several candidates go for a job, and you’re the only one who needs a visa and all the paperwork, you don’t stand a chance. So I had to move. I had to, to keep working.” 

    Matt Carghill plays in the band Sly and the Family Drone. He used to tour EU countries every year – but that’s now stopped.  

    “We’d just get in the van – instruments, merchandise, throw it all in and off you go. It was the merchandise sales that got us through, the money that would pay for the fuel to get to the next gig. Now, because of all the export costs, you can’t do it. It’s over.” 

    Rachel Nicholls is a freelance British soprano in opera and concert, currently starring in The Handmaid’s Tale in London. Since leaving the EU, her whole career has changed.  

    “I used to do three or four jobs in the EU every year. Since Brexit, I’ve done just one EU job in 7 years. Those jobs are still there, but now they’re going to artists who aren’t from the UK. The 90-day rule, and the visas you need, just mean UK musicians are not considered any more. It’s too difficult to employ them. I know so many people leaving the industry. We are doing severe, irreparable damage to the UK music industry, and it is the younger people I feel so, so sorry for.” 

    Chris and Sabina Allen-Kormylo make specialist hand-made instruments, hurdy-gurdys, from a workshop at the back of their house in Wales.  

    “We used to have about 30% of our business from EU customers,” Chris tells us, Now the phone never rings from them, ever. Why would you buy from us, when you might have to pay hundreds of pounds more just to have your instrument shipped to you? EU customers can’t even have instruments shipped to me for repair anymore, because you risk it being stuck in a warehouse at customs somewhere for weeks on end. That business is gone, and we just have to live with it.” 

    Watch musicians' stories.

    Sign the petition.

    Stand with us and tell this government to Face The Music.

  • EMUK’s Market Access Campaign – What does it mean for groups?

    What is our Market Access campaign? 

    Despite the economic turmoil we have faced in recent years, loss of access to the world’s largest internal market, right on our doorstep, remains the elephant in the room of our politics. We want to start a discussion of the benefits of Single Market access for the UK, and that begins with a frank assessment of the effects of leaving. 

    Our business community has been at the forefront of this issue, and they are a crucial constituency for all major parties going into the next General Election; that’s why we are targeting Brexit-impacted businesses with our latest campaign. 

    We begin with a listening campaign, gathering data and testimonies on experiences of entrepreneurs post-Brexit through our survey. 

    We will then create a report from the data that we will publish and bring to Party Conferences. As part of this report, we’re offering groups the chance to do a ‘deeper dive’ survey of their own in their local area, and we will dedicate a page of the report to the findings of each local survey. 

     

    Why now? 

    Two years have passed since Britain officially left the EU, the pandemic is over, and now we can get a clear picture of the real-life effects of Brexit on UK enterprise. The political debate has begun to move beyond the polarisation of the 2019 General Election, and according to YouGov, 53% of UK voters regret leaving the EU. Even committed Brexiter Rishi Sunak has admitted that Northern Ireland has a privileged position in the UK thanks to its EU market access. 

    With another General Election on the horizon, and every major political party courting the business community, it is time for voters and politicians to understand what Brexit really means for business. 

     

    Will there be an action day for groups? 

    Yes! It will in fact be an action weekend, from Friday 30th June-Sunday 2nd July. 

    We understand that groups can be busy, so you can take part any time between now and the end of July.  

    The focus of the Market Access campaign is our Business Impact Survey, asking local businesses across the UK about how Brexit has affected them. Unlike other campaign days, we are targeting a specific group of people, the business community. We have created some business cards with a QR code that links to our national survey, and we’re looking for activists to take these into small and local businesses, or hand them out at stalls to business owners, and to talk to the public about the campaign. That’s all. We’ve made it easy to include as part of your previously scheduled campaign sessions, a large and visible stall, or a small team canvassing the high street. 

     

    What is the European Movement’s Business Impact Survey? 

    We are asking businesses up and down the country to share their honest experiences of Brexit through our Brexit Impact Survey. The idea came from our activist group in Wandsworth and Merton, who developed and delivered a survey for the businesses in their boroughs. They discovered that 65% of respondents had felt ill-prepared for Brexit at the end of the transition period, and 91% felt that Brexit had been bad for business. Our group in Swindon have also done a highly successful survey with a smaller team. 

    On 15th May, we launched a national version of the survey to every part of the UK, across every sector of the economy. Every business in the UK should have the chance to tell their story of Brexit.  

     

    How successful has the survey been so far? 

    We’re aiming for at least 1,000 responses to the survey, but the more we have, the better case we can make for Market Access. So far, we have received over 600 responses, and the results are damning: over 96% of business owners have told us that Brexit has been a negative for their business, and almost 98% would benefit from a return to the EU Single Market. 

    We’re only 400 responses off our target, that’s why we need your help! 

     

    What is a ‘deeper dive’ survey? 

    A ‘deeper dive’ survey is an opportunity for your group to have a closer look at what’s going on in your area. You can design your own questions specific to your area or host an event; maybe you have an important local industry/employer, or a close contact in the local Chamber of Commerce, or you would like to organise a business round table? 

    Maybe you want to collect specific testimonies from the farming communities, or manufacturing, or retail, or services? Feel free to use your creativity. At the end of your ‘deeper dive’, we will ask for a one-page summary of what you have learned, which we will then include in our overall report to take to party conferences. 

     

    What support will be available for ‘deeper dive’ surveys? 

    We are offering each group up to £500 of funding to do their own surveys and events, simply fill in the form and return it to [email protected]. This can cover materials, advertising, events and anything else you may need. We are also providing you with a draft event plan for a roundtable, and some draft questions. 

     

    Does my group need to do a ‘deeper dive’ to take part in the campaign? 

    Not at all! If your group is low on capacity at the moment, you can still order print related to our national Business Impact Survey and hand it out to local businesses. You can also share the Survey on social media, particularly local Facebook and Next-Door groups. 

    If you can, encourage business owners to write to their local paper about their experiences. Everything you can do helps! 

     

    What is the Single Market? 

    The UK lost access to the Single Market when the Brexit transition period ended in January 2021. People, goods, services and money can move around the single market almost as freely as within a single country. 

    To make that possible, the EU agrees common rules and standards, to remove the need for border checks and to protect workers, consumers and the environment. It covers all 27 EU member states plus Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. 

     

    What is the Customs’ Union? 

    The UK lost Customs Union access alongside Single Market access. The Customs Union allows members to trade with each other without tariffs and to impose the same tariffs on non-member countries. Along with the Single Market, the Customs Union allows most goods to move across borders within the EU without checks or payments.  

     

  • Politicans, Business Owners and Activists come together for the Market Access Campaign Webinar

    European Movement UK hosted a Market Access Campaign Webinar with former Business Secretary and Lib Dem Leader, Sir Vince Cable, business owner Ian Clark (Clarkshaws) and EM activists James Ryder (EM Wandsworth & Merton) and Luciana Ponzetta (Swindon for Europe) for the launch of our Market Access campaign. 

    Members joined us for a Q&A session about the impact that Brexit is having on the economy and on small businesses across the UK. 

    The webinar was an opportunity to empower our wider network of activist groups to engage with local businesses on the impact of Brexit, produce reports and begin a dialogue with important local and regional stakeholders. 

    Vince opened the event by speaking about the importance of engaging with business to identify how UK businesses are operating under the new Brexit reality. 

    “The business sector has not yet seen the most of it,” Cable continued, “as import restrictions are still to come.”  

    “This is why, to shift the argument,” said Cable, “we need concrete evidence of what’s happening on the ground. Such as this survey, which I’m impressed with.” 

    Following a Q&A with Cable, James Ryder from our EM group in Wandsworth and Merton presented the findings from their business survey of their local area. They used their Building Bridges funding to conduct a survey of 120 businesses, create a report from the data and launch their findings at an event attended by their MP. 

    We then heard from Ian Clark of Clarkshaws, a brewing company in Brixton, London, about the difficulties that his small business has faced with Brexit. 

    The session was then wrapped-up by Luciana Ponzetta, who spoke about how, off the success of EM Wandsworth & Merton’s survey, Swindon for Europe conducted their own survey of local businesses. 

    “We had engagement from people who voted Remain and Leave,” said Luciana, “and this is vital.” 

    Why are we running a Market Access campaign? 

    Businesses have borne the brunt of the fallout from the Withdrawal Agreement. According to the British Chambers of Commerce, 77% of businesses have said that the withdrawal agreement has not helped them to grow, 56% have struggled with new rules around trading goods and 45% with trading services.  

    Despite the clear evidence that Brexit is hurting our small and medium enterprises, their voices are seldom heard in the debates over the Retained EU Law Bill, the Northern Ireland Protocol and our future relationship with the EU. 

    Rishi Sunak recently said that Northern Ireland was the most exciting place in the world to invest because it has access to the EU and UK Single Markets, but there was a time, not so long ago, when that applied to the whole UK. 

    We know that Brexit isn’t working, and our businesses are suffering as a result. As a UK-wide, grassroots movement, European Movement UK has an important role to play in giving small and medium-sized businesses a voice in the growing debate over Brexit’s effects.  

    What’s next for the Market Access campaign? 

    We have produced a national level questionnaire for businesses, and this is launching in April 2023. 

    This questionnaire will ask businesses what they think about the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and how Brexit has affected their day-to-day business operations.  

    Our target is to gather at least 1000 responses from businesses. With this data, we can feedback the findings to our wider partners and stakeholders, such as at party conferences. 

    After this, we will organise a campaign day for the beginning of summer. 

    You can watch the webinar in full here. 

    The Building Bridges fund is open to all European Movement UK’s affiliated groups. If you want to learn how your group can take advantage of our Building Bridges fund, contact [email protected]. 

  • REUL Action Day: Activists take to the streets because Brexit is far from done

    On Saturday 4th February, 37 local groups across the country took part in the Retained EU Law Bill Action Day. This was a crucial next step in the campaign to ‘Save our Standards’.  

    From Leeds to Lancaster, local groups handed out over 20,000 leaflets, managed to raise our petition to almost 40,000 signatures, and spoke to over 2,000 people about the dangers of the Retained EU Law Bill. An outstanding result from our network of activists.  

    I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped at the weekend to raise awareness about the dangers of the bill. 

    The overall message we heard from the Retained EU Law Action Day was that public opinion is shifting, and EMUK would love to share some positive interactions that took place throughout the day.  

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