Pop Culture with Tatiana

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The UK’s biggest music stars state that the post Brexit system makes touring “unviable”.

From Grammy winning artists to those at the start of their career, post Brexit regulations have made it extremely complicated for musicians from the UK to tour in the European Union. The UK-EU trade deal had no provisions for the free movement of artists, and because of this, musicians are claiming to have been “shamefully failed” by their government. Since Brexit took effect on January 1, musicians and artists touring the continent are required to check domestic immigration and visitor rules for each member state they intend to visit. This means UK musicians will be required to have multiple visas and/or work permits, which most up-and-coming and struggling artists will find too expensive and prohibitive.

In an open letter published in The Times stars such as Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher, Sting and over 110 other UK artists, have written to the government demanding action to ensure visa-free touring in the European Union. The letter also states that the UK government has failed the country’s performing artists because, the end of free movement for touring bands, plus the costs and bureaucracy arising from the new system, will make touring “unviable”, in particular for emerging musicians.

“The reality is that British musicians, dancers, actors and their support staff have been shamefully failed by their government. The deal done with the EU has a gaping hole where the promised free movement for musicians should be. Everyone on a European music tour will now need costly work permits for many countries they visit and a mountain of paperwork for their equipment. The extra costs will “tip many performers over the edge”

– British musicians in the open letter to the UK Government.

Film and Televisions crews will be subject to the same rules, with some EU states requiring additional visas for stays of longer than 90 days and work permits.

The UK Government has suggested that the letter’s signatories should use their “star power” to address the EU, asking them why they rejected the UK’s “sensible proposal”.

The EU had said that during their negotiations with the UK, they had made a generous offer regarding special travel rights for artists, journalists and athletes, but it was rejected by London. “Of course, you have to be two to reach an agreement,” EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said last week.

The UK’s Secretary for Culture Oliver Dowden told Music industry leaders that he had put together a working group to find solutions. He also argued his Government had made it easy for EU artists to perform in the UK and that the special arrangements should be reciprocal.

The Who frontman Daltrey told the BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme in 2018: “It’s nothing that can’t be solved. I mean, we used to work in Europe before the EU was even thought about. We had the golden period of the 60s and the 70s.”

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