Only one EU country signs deal for post-Brexit music tours


Only one EU country has signed a post-Brexit agreement to save British musicians from needing costly work permits to visit the continent, according to reports.

Since the UK left the EU in January 2021, the government has failed to negotiate visa-free travel and EU-wide work permits for musicians and crew.

Despite the Prime Minister Boris Johnsonthe promise to resolve issues that may prevent artists from touring Europe due to rising costs, only Spain has signed on to allow British musicians to visit the country visa-free.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is now calling on new Brexit minister Liz Truss to resolve the issues and take the same ‘tough approach’ as ​​her predecessor, Lord Frost. In a letter to the government, ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts wrote [per the Independent]“All the issues first identified as facing the creative sector as a result of the ATT, in the Brexit trade deal, remain.

Musicians demonstrating against Brexit in 2019. CREDIT: Richard Baker/Getty Images

“The sector is now faced with mountains of red tape, both costly and time-consuming. Proposed solutions such as bilateral agreements with EU states have not materialized, with the exception of Spain, and there are serious problems with cabotage, carnets and designated ports.

Annetts added: “All of these issues have a negative impact on the UK music industry and wider creative industries, which are worth £116billion a year, such as finance or construction.”

In a Tweeter Sharing a post about the letter on the official ISM Twitter account, the organization said it wants “a visa waiver deal, progress on cabotage and carnets [and] the end of costly bureaucracy”. “These measures would make 2022 a better year for musicians,” he said.

In the Spanish deal, which was announced in November, British musicians and their crew will no longer need visas to visit the country for less than 90 days. However, major issues around freight transport and cabotage rules persist, with current regulations only allowing lorries traveling from the UK to stop in an EU state before they are only seven days to do two more before returning home.

In October, the British government was accused of more ‘spin and misinformation’ as no progress was made on the ongoing touring crisis. Two months earlier, he “announced” that “short-term” travel without visas and work permits would be allowed for musicians and performers from 19 European countries. However, these rules were already in place before Brexit.

Music industry figures have continually voiced concerns about the creation of new rules and bureaucracy around touring Europe huge costs for future live music tours for musicians and crew. This could have a ripple effect on create a glass ceiling that prevents the rise and development of talent to be able to afford to circumnavigate the continent.


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