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Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Equity must defend members’ interests | Acting

I write in the name of 140 Equity trade union members who support the letter sent to the prime minister (Stars including Sir Ian McKellen urge changes to visa rules for artists, 16 February). The post-Brexit situation we face working in Europe is disastrous, with a shift from no visa regulations across the EU to individual European states applying their own requirements, many of which will be impossible to meet.

For example, filming in Budapest, one of the main film and TV locations, now requires a Hungarian residence permit for all work. The renegotiation demanded in the letter will not restore a Europe-wide solution.

As if things weren’t bad enough, Equity has a new general secretary, Paul Fleming, who actively campaigned for Brexit and does not support the free movement of labour.

A quote from Fleming in your article suggests our work in Europe is “a cornerstone of our international soft power”. It is not for a trade union leader to suggest that we are foreign policy functionaries for the UK government, but to defend our interests as workers. This is something Fleming is clearly incapable of doing, and we have no confidence in his leadership.
Tam Dean Burn

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