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Musicians' Union expresses dismay at European Union Youth Orchestra’s decision to leave London

Yesterday the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) announced that it would be leaving London because of Brexit.
It’s the second orchestra to announce it’s leaving the UK since the Brexit referendum last year, after the European Union Baroque Orchestra moved to Antwerp in part due to concerns over restricted freedom of movement for working musicians.
Naomi Pohl, Musicians’ Union (MU) Assistant General Secretary:
“We are beyond disappointed that the UK has lost a second orchestra as a result of the uncertainty posed to our industry by Brexit.  We understand this orchestra’s particular need to move but that doesn’t make it any less saddening. 
“Not only are we losing a cultural resource and an orchestra that presented unique opportunities to young musicians, but this decision signals a wider loss to the UK. 
“We have long been considered one of the best possible places in the world to make music.  We must pull together to ensure we remain that way.  We can’t let the Brexit negotiations undermine the UK music industry which produces and attracts the very best of talent.”
Chris Walters, MU Education Official:
“Playing with the EUYO was a formative experience for me. It introduced me to the highest level of music-making and fostered in me a spirit of collaboration on a grand scale.

“I'm truly gutted that this remarkable orchestra, which was founded in the UK and based here until now, is being lost to us as a result of Brexit. It's a tragedy that future generations of young British musicians will miss out on the chance to be part of it.”

The lack of clarity over future freedom of movement for musicians is already causing chaos in our industry, and the MU is lobbying the government to provide clarity.
A petition started by the MU already has over 16,000 signatures calling for free movement for musicians, with minimum administrative burdens.
Over 150 MPs, Peers and MEPs have signed a pledge to do all that they can to ensure musicians can travel freely and easily, with minimum administrative burdens, post-Brexit.
Please consider getting involved by:
  • Signing the petition
  • Asking your MP to sign the pledge – it only takes a few minutes
  • Sharing your experiences of working in the EU on social media using #WorkingInTheEU
Read more about the EUYO and why it’s leaving via the Guardian.
Published: 12/10/2017
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