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11/12/20

In an illuminating Twitter thread, British composer Harold Goodall has distilled the hoops that U.K. musicians will need to jump through to tour within the EU. It makes for sober reading.  

The U.K. will Brexit out of the EU in 50 days, at which point rules about touring and working in EU countries will shift substantially. Negotiations are still underway but, as of now, there’s little evidence that the following will change.

As Goodall noted, the current rules mean British musicians will need a work visa for every member state they visit, and each will have its own policy on tax for work carried out within that country. In addition, instruments and professional equipment will be required to get what’s known as a “passport for goods,” the ATA Carnet, at a cost of more than £350 for each item (the license lasts for one year). 

EU haulage licenses will be required for vans and hauling contractors, of which there are a very limited number; Goodall said there are 80,000 hauliers in the U.K. who are currently applying for one of 1,800 available. Free data roaming within the EU will also no longer be available for those with a U.K. phone contract. 

Goodall, clearly not a Brexit fan, concluded: “Everything we do as creative artists—everything—is about removing the barriers between people. We do collaboration, reducing conflict, bringing people closer, unity, friendship, enjoyment & shared experience.

“We’ll cope, somehow, of course, but forgive us for thinking that the putting up of all these new hurdles, fences & frontiers is pointless, retrogressive & counter-productive and that the swindlers who sold the empty, nationalist elixir are basically bad people.”