A petition has been launched calling for the government to secure visa-free travel for artists and other creatives in the EU following the end of the Brexit transition period.
The UK will officially fully leave the European Union on January 1, 2021, with the government having finalised a deal on December 24.
That agreement allows workers in several industries to enter the EU without a visa, but does not include musicians in the clause. To tour Europe, bands and artists may need secure visas for each country they are scheduled to perform in. If that is the case, touring on the continent will become far more costly and harder to afford for many artists and crew members.
“We would like the UK Govt to negotiate a free cultural work permit that gives us visa free travel throughout the 27 EU states for music touring professionals, bands, musicians, artists, TV and sports celebrities that tour the EU to perform shows and events & Carnet exception [allowing the temporary import or export of goods without having to pay duty or VAT] for touring equipment,” the petition read.
The petition’s creator Tim Brennan added: “As a freelancer I and many like me travel through the EU countless times a year on different tours and events, this will become impossible due to cost and time if we do not have visa free travel.”
The list of signatures is now at over 43,000 at the time of writing, meaning the government must respond to it. If it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament. You can sign the petition here.
Many fans and artists have already shared the petition on social media, urging their followers to add their names to the list. “So many MPs namedrop bands and artists in order for them to seem relevant/ cool. We now need them to help us,” tweeted Tim Burgess.
So many MPs namedrop bands and artists in order for them to seem relevant/ cool. We now need them to help us.
The UK music industry contributed £5.8bn to our economy in 2019.
– for that to continue, we need to be able to tour Europe.
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) December 27, 2020
“The UK music industry contributed £5.8bn to our economy in 2019 – for that to continue, we need to be able to tour Europe. Please sign.”
Last week (December 25), UK Music chief executive Jamie Njuko-Goodwin welcomed the government’s EU trade deal, but said it still left “many questions” unanswered for the music industry. At that time, the full extent of the deal and its implications for musicians had not been made clear.