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Sunday, November 28, 2021

BREXIT: Barriers for touring performers warrants urgent action from Prime Minister

A cross-party group of MPs have urged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take action on the barriers and restrictions that touring performers face when booking events in EU countries.

Since the finalisation of the UK’s departure from the EU, the rules surrounding work visas have made it difficult to perform in EU countries for UK-based creatives.

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After being out of work throughout the entire pandemic, UK musicians and performers are now faced with additional financial burdens such as no longer being guaranteed visa and cost-free travel when travelling to EU members states.

Boris Johnson was issued with reminders from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music that he had pledged to fix the issues in March while adding that they will hold an inquiry into the delays and costs faced by musicians and emerging artists.

Conservative MP David Warburton has requested to meet the Prime Minister to discuss ways in which the barriers can be overcome, which will include negotiations with EU countries that ban visa-free touring to offer a cultural exemption from immigration and transport rules.

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Warburton stated, “Musicians and crew are facing an enormous and grave problem when it comes to touring the EU that is not going to go away.”

“We need the government to ramp up negotiations with nations like Spain where costly visas are still in place and to look for swift solutions to both the visa and transport issues facing musicians and crew.”

Among those criticising the UK government’s lack of action on the matter is Sir Elton John who has described the situation as a “looming catastrophe”.

Other UK musicians have signed the #LetMusicMove campaign by the Musician’s Union, which has received signatures from artists such as Blur, Idris Elba and Radiohead.

IMAGE – “PM Boris Johnson speaking at the opening of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, 20 January 2020” by DFID – UK Department for International Development is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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