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BREXIT TOURING SAGA CONTINUES
2/17/21

Artists and their teams face prohibitive touring costs in the EU due to the Government not currently negotiating any sort of assistance for British musicians, Parliament was told Tuesday.

As a result of the U.K. crashing out of the EU without a deal, there’s now a lot of bureaucracy and cost involved for British musicians who want to tour Europe, including visa fees, work permits and VAT. Despite multiple calls from the music industry for a solution, including a petition signed by more 280,000 people for Europe-wide visa-free work permits, the British Government has yet to act.

DCMS minister Caroline Dinenage said there are “no current negotiations taking place” with any EU countries. She admitted that a working group to explore the impact of these new costs and paperwork was set up in January—after the U.K.’s trade agreement with the EU was already signed. Rather than securing an EU-wide agreement, Dinenage said that individual agreements with each member state would be “most successful.”

Deborah Annetts, chief exec of The Incorporated Society of Musicians, said during Tuesday’s session that “there is simply not enough work in the U.K.” for musicians to maintain a music career solely within its borders, and that musicians “are already thinking, in quite desperate terms, whether they have a career left or whether they will have to retrain.”