Oxford

European orchestra to leave UK due to Brexit

EUBO performing at St John's, Smith Square Image copyright EUBO
Image caption The European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO), based in the UK for more than 30 years, will relocate to Belgium as a result of the EU Referendum vote

An orchestra is to relocate to Belgium as a result of Brexit.

The European Union Baroque Orchestra, based in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, will move to a permanent home in Antwerp by 2018.

The charitable organisation has cancelled the majority of this year's concert schedule and will play its last concert for 2017 in London in May.

The orchestra manager said the relocation was "inevitable" after last June's EU referendum result.

Emma Wilkinson said: "We're the EUBO, so when the Brexit referendum happened our move out of the UK to the EU was inevitable."

The orchestra, co-founded by the EU, offers young musicians from across Europe the opportunity to get a year's experience of performing in a baroque orchestra.

'They'll lose out'

UK musicians have featured in the orchestra throughout its 30-year history, although none are in this year's cohort.

The EUBO said in a statement that participation of UK musicians would "in all likelihood" have ended by the time Britain left the EU.

Ms Wilkinson added: "I do believe [Brexit is] a real worry for general British musicians.

"If you have musicians who have to apply for visas or who have to apply for work permits, orchestras and organisations will have to go through that huge bureaucracy.

"They'll lose out."

Horn player Anneke Scott started her career at EUBO and now works regularly on the continent.

She said: "At the moment, I'm scared witless. Our livelihood is based on freedom of movement.

"Our understanding is we have a right to work as long as the UK's a member of the EU.

"My main concern is that we will lose our right to work."

The administration of the orchestra will move to the Augustinus Muziekcentrum (AMUZ) in Antwerp.

The statement continued: "We have been forced to the conclusion that carrying on as we were is no longer possible.

"A strategic transition out of the UK to a new future with AMUZ is the most viable way forward."

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