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Consequences for the arts


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Admin please could you direct this question if there is already a discussion- how is leaving or staying with the EU going to affect the arts? Not sure I'm aloud to ask for political opinion but anyone who wishes to reply that's great. In layman terms. I'm great at pointing my feet but not so good at politics! Thank you.

Edited by allthebest2all
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I'm expecting this thread will be locked quickly, but just in case.

 

The short answer is that no one knows for sure what would happen if we left, it's however unlikely to improve things. Jessica Duchen did a post about some of the direct consequences to the arts: https://jessicamusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/im-in-and-heres-why-you-should-be-too.html

For ballet specifically, I vaguely remember Tamara Rojo complaining about the visa requirements for non-EU dancers, it is possible we would then have the same issues for EU dancers.

If, as all forecasts indicate, an exit would lead to a decreased GDP if not outright recession, any arts budget would likely be where the government cuts first.

I don't know exactly what subsidies come directly from the EU when it comes to performing arts, I know there are some for the cinemas, and far more important in my view than those for production are subsidies for cinemas showing less mainstream fare (even the BFI apparently receives some funds from them).

Another example of what might happen, in the past few years, Abbas Kiarostami was unable to come and direct his production of The Magic Flute for ENO as he couldn't get a visa, and Grigory Sokolov is no longer performing here as he thinks getting a visa is too much of a hassle. This could be an indication of things to come.

 

I actually haven't looked into it all that much (I can't vote so not much point); and also it can't be pointed out enough, no one, least of all the proponents, has any idea what would happen if we left.

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Yes I'm expecting it to be locked and won't be offended in the slightest so please just do that admin if you need to. That's a very useful insight thank you. I will look at that article, I've been googling but nothing came up specifically. No nothing is for certain in any area and most opinions I've read are just speculative which is all they can be. Thank you for your reply.

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The business of visas is complicated and it is wrong to assume that because a visa wasn't granted it was down to refusing entry to the artist in question.  I'm not aware that a fast track system exists at British consulates for those engaged in the arts, I assume it is a first come first served basis and if someone turns up ill prepared without the proper documents they find themselves at the back of the queue.  Likewise issuing invitations from Britain becomes more complicated every time the requirements change.  I know for a fact of a new employee in an HR department who simply had never dealt with visa requests before and made such a mess of the application certain performances were forced to change.  No politics involved, just incompetence.

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Only read a few lines of the blogger Jessica Duchen's piece.  Quite a rant from someone totally biased on the subject and expressing her opinions in rather hysterical terms.  As this forum is supposed to be non political I'd appreciate that particular link being removed.

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I'm not saying there was a will to keep these two artists out, but any requirement for paperwork does make things more complicated. They are two high profile artists who decided coming to the UK wasn't worth the hassle, there are likely more who we don't hear about. And again, no one knows what would happen if we left anyway.

 

If the mods start deleting things, I'd rather they deleted the whole thread.

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Although both sides in this debate threaten us with the biblical plagues of Egypt if we decide in favour of their opponents the truth is that while we can be certain that we won't be visited by a plague of boils or a plague of frogs, after that the future is uncertain.There are no certainties only possibilities and probabilities.

 

The Brexit proponents tell us that anything and everything is possible if we leave the EU, which is of course true if you address the question in the most superficial way. But if you look at the issue on the basis of probabilities then things start to look rather different. We need to ask ourselves what is likely to  happen if we leave rather than what could happen? As both Norway and Switzerland have been forced to accept free movement of labour in order to gain free access to the EU market without tariff barriers  I think that the same requirement would be attached to our tariff free access to the market. My opinion is reinforced by the situation that the Swiss are currently facing. I understand that the Swiss, having secured access to the EU market, are now experiencing problems with the EU because they have sought to limit the free movement of labour.

 

Free movement of labour is likely to be the sticking point for both sides. It seems unlikely to me that the EU will decide that free movement of labour is not essential to the UK gaining free access to the market. As immigration seems to be increasingly significant in the current Brexit debate is the government likely to agree to such a condition if we vote to leave?. The chances are  that  post Brexit the government will decide that in order to remain in power it needs to control the number of people entering the country and be seen to be doing so. If it decides that access to the EU markets subject to tariffs is a price worth paying for retaining power it is not likely to make it easier for foreign artists to work here than it is at present. Somehow I don't see those who are currently arguing that if we leave the EU we will be able to recruit immigrants that we need to fill skill gaps will be that concerned about those who perform in elitist art forms such as ballet. I think that the government will decide that it needs to be seen to be controlling immigration and that the controls should be seen to applied rigorously to those in the elitist performing arts.

 

It seems that the current arrangements already  put some dancers off working here. I don't think that post Brexit dancers from the Commonwealth will find it easier to work here than it is now.Post Brexit the pool of people who will be subject to work permit requirements will simply be much enlarged. Years ago there was a documentary about Joan Sutherland in which she was shown  going through passport control and being questioned about her reason for coming to the UK.. At one point the Dame said "I don't have to come here". There is no reason to suppose that performers from EU countries who are currently able to work here because of the rules about the free movement of labour will necessarily want to do so if the current work permit rules apply to them. 

 

But I don't know what will happen if we leave the EU and neither do any of the politicians so hotly engaged in the current debate.

Edited by FLOSS
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Unfortunately the opportunities for contracts abroad are ever fewer whether we are in or out of Europe.  The economies of Spain, Ireland, Greece and Portugal have been decimated by the EU and subsidies for the arts in other European countries are cut every year.  Many opera house dancers and ballet companies have had numbers severely reduced or been disbanded altogether.  The whole "project" is unsustainable in its present form - but I don't see any way that meaningful reforms will take place.  For the last 21 years the Auditors have refused to sign off on the EU accounts as fraud is endemic. 

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Prior to the first referendum there were huge concerns about the loss of Commonwealth dancers, indeed the sticking point for the No camp back then was the adverse effect joining would have on all Commonwealth links.  As far as dance is concerned British trained dancers went off to Europe in significant numbers before EU entry.  I imagine that the free movement of Russian dancers will have more to do dwindling vacancies than any other reason

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Unfortunately the opportunities for contracts abroad are ever fewer whether we are in or out of Europe.  The economies of Spain, Ireland, Greece and Portugal have been decimated by the EU and subsidies for the arts in other European countries are cut every year.  Many opera house dancers and ballet companies have had numbers severely reduced or been disbanded altogether.  The whole "project" is unsustainable in its present form - but I don't see any way that meaningful reforms will take place.  For the last 21 years the Auditors have refused to sign off on the EU accounts as fraud is endemic. 

 

From: http://www.britishinfluence.org/it_s_the_british_media_that_needs_auditing

 

In his statement about the audit to the European Parliament this week, the Court of Auditors President, Vítor Manuel da Silva Caldeira, pointed out that the only area of EU expenditure not affected by material error was the EU’s spending on its own administration. This actually shows that the European Commission has tight control on its internal finances. The problems occur when the money leaves Brussels for spending by member states – and that’s actually how 94% of all EU money is used, in EU countries on policies and programmes for the benefit of EU citizens.  National governments have primary responsibility for managing and controlling 80% of all EU funds. That’s why Mr da Silva Caldeira called on all EU member states – which includes the UK government of course – to play their part in helping to prevent errors.  He also called for the EU budget to be more focused on performance than expenditure.

 

As for fraud, this affects an estimated 0.2% of the EU budget – modest by international standards, and much better than many British government department budgets.

 

The EU's audit processes are more robust than those of the UK Government. It was Audit General Sir John Bourn who stated that if the European Court of Auditors standards had applied to the British government’s accounts, he could not have signed off those accounts in total, because he had to give an adverse opinion on 13 of the UK government’s budgets.

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Frog. Thank you for the information that you have supplied about the EU and its accounts. The sad fact is that people prefer the myths printed in the newspapers and spread by news organisations that should know better, to the facts. Who needs facts when the myth supports your political opinion? I sometimes think that for many politicians in this country if the EU did not exist it would be necessary to invent it. I hate to think what they will do if do if we do leave the EU as there will be no obvious external scapegoat for them to blame for their short comings and incompetence.

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I suggest those people that view the EU through rose coloured spectacles visit the 'PIGS' countries, I've been to every one since the recession, I also remember the ERM debacle, Black Wednesday 1992,  when George Soros creamed off over a billion from the people of this country.  Then there's TTIP,  does that scare me?  Yes it does!

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