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GOV'T HEARS MORE BREXIT TOURING WOES

Parliament was informed Tuesday that British artists and their teams face prohibitive E.U. touring costs in light of the U.K. government's failure to negotiate appropriate assistance.

Because the U.K. crashed out of the E.U. without a deal, touring acts are being confronted by burdensome and expensive bureaucracy, which extends to visa fees, work permits and value-added tax. Multiple calls from the music industry, including a petition signed by more 280,000 people demanding Europe-wide visa-free work permits, have fallen on deaf ears.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport minister Caroline Dinenage has said there are “no current negotiations taking place” with any E.U. country and 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 E.U. had already been signed. Rather than securing an E.U.-wide agreement, Dinenage allowed 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.”

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