Further post-Brexit musician touring discussions are to be proposed by the UK government in a bid to break the EU visa stalemate.
The UK left the EU on 1st January 2021, with a last-minute deal on trade and movement between the bloc and former-member state brokered on Christmas Eve, 24th December 2020. The agreement fails to ensure special visa allowances for bands, DJs, performers and crew working in both the EU and UK, who now have to negotiate different rules, regulations, paperwork and costs depending which countries are on the itinerary.
The EU has blamed the situation on the UK, which subsequently denied the accusations. A petition was launched in Britain demanding a return to the negotiation table, which quickly met the 100,000 signatures required to be considered for parliamentary debate. An official response to this has now been published, and states the "UK Government will make the case for arrangements that make touring easier." This is included in the tweet below from BBC Newsbeat journalist Jimmy Blake.
The UK Government's full response to the petition on visa-free touring of the EU.
- Says EU "turned down proposals"... "However there is scope to return to this in the future"
— Jimmy Blake (@jBlake92) January 15, 2021
In Prime Minister's Questions, 13th January 2021, Boris Johnson was asked by Kevin Brennan MP if he was willing to meet with "a small group of MPs, including the Conservative Chair of the Culture Select Committee" to solve a problem that's "clearly fixable".
"I will of course ensure that there is a proper meeting with the honourable gentleman and his colleagues on this subject, which is extremely important," Johnson replied. "I know that our friends in the EU will be wanting to go further to improve things, not just for musicians, but for business travellers of all kinds, because there is a mutual benefit."
Earlier this week experts warned Brexit could also have repercussions for musicians touring the U.S. because of the need to prove "international recognition". Meanwhile, a short-term guide to European touring post-Brexit has been published by the Incorporated Society of Musicians.