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Reporting Back From the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences

Music lifts spirits, communities and the UK’s economy. That’s why this year, the Musicians’ Union (MU) went to both the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences to talk about a touring visa for musicians post-Brexit, music education and the other big issues affecting the MU’s 30,000 members.

Let touring musicians travel

Hundreds of delegates across both conferences signed the MU’s petition for a touring visa, recognising the difficulties caused by a lack of clarity in policy and the need to ensure that musicians – as highly skilled but often low paid workers – can continue to travel to make a living.

Both Labour and Conservative Party MPs stopped by the MU’s stand to show their support for a touring visa for musicians post-Brexit. Our thanks go to Luciana Berger MP, Stephen Doughty MP, Alison McGovern MP, Rupa Huq MP, Jo Stevens MP and all those who backed the Working in the EU campaign.

The campaign is gaining support. But there’s still more to do.

Make your voice heard by signing the petition for a touring visa for musicians post-Brexit.

You can also take action by contacting your MP to ask them to add their name.

A People’s Vote

The MU delegation at Labour Party Conference voted in favour of keeping open the option of a second referendum with “Remain” as an option if the Prime Minister’s final Brexit deal does not meet Labour’s six tests, and if there is not a general election.

The motion outlining the compromise was the subject of hours of intense debate behind closed doors and in the Conference hall, where it was supported by the vast majority of delegates.

Outlining Labour’s position, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Stamer said:

“We want a general election that can sweep away this failed Tory Government, and usher in a radical Labour Government that would put jobs and living standards first.

“But if a general election is not possible then other options must be kept open. That includes campaigning for a public vote.

“It is right for Parliament to have the first say but if we need to break the impasse, Labour campaigning for a public vote must be an option. That’s why I’m happy to throw our full weight behind the motion.”

MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge also discussed a People’s Vote and why trade unions negotiating a deal always back to their members, on a panel alongside David Lammy MP hosted by Labour For A People’s Vote.

MU members are encouraged to get involved in the People’s Vote campaign. On Saturday 20 October, people will be marching through London for a People’s Vote. Are you going to be there? Tweet us at @WeAreTheMU to tell us why you’re marching.

How the MU can help

Are you a local councillor or involved in local politics?

If you have a question about music education cuts, protecting venues, busking or any other issues involving music, get in touch with your MU Regional Office.

We can offer expertise on all aspects of the music industry and signpost further resources.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the MU stand at Labour and Conservative Party Conference. Sign up as an MU Supporter to be kept up to date with our big campaigns issues including touring post-Brexit and music education.

Published: 19/10/2018
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