UK musicians WILL be able to tour in key EU countries without needing a visa after Brexit breakthrough following backlash led by Sir Elton John
- The Government has now negotiated musician deals with 19 EU member states
- Will mean musicians will be able to tour without needing a visa or work permit
- UK’s departure from EU meant rules did not guarantee visa-free travel for bands
- Sir Elton John led backlash and warned musicians faced ‘looming catastrophe’
Musicians from the UK will be able to tour in key European countries without needing a visa or work permit after a breakthrough on post-Brexit border rules.
Boris Johnson’s Government has announced it has done a deal with 19 of the European Union’s 27 member states to allow British performers to conduct short visits without the need for paperwork.
New rules which came into force at the start of the year after the UK’s exit from the EU do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians on the continent.
The initial post-Brexit arrangements prompted fears that touring artists would face large fees to perform in the EU.
Sir Elton John had led the backlash and demanded ministers take action, warning in June this year that musicians were facing a ‘looming catastrophe’.
Boris Johnson’s Government has announced it has done a deal with 19 of the European Union’s 27 member states to allow British performers to conduct short visits without the need for paperwork
Sir Elton John had led the backlash against post-Brexit rules which did not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians
The UK has now done deals with Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
Talks remain ongoing with the remaining EU member states, including Spain, Portugal and Greece.
It is hoped that the entire bloc will align its arrangements with the UK’s, which allow touring performers and support staff to visit for up to three months without a visa.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement: ‘We want the UK’s fantastic performers and other creative professionals to be able to tour abroad easily.
‘We recognise challenges remain around touring, and we are continuing to work closely with the industry.
‘We want to ensure that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world.’
It comes after months of campaigning from musicians like Sir Elton and Ed Sheeran amid warnings the rules threatened ‘a generation of talent’.
Sir Elton had warned that the ‘prohibitive costs of visas, carnets and permits’ could rob UK musicians of ‘an essential part of their education and development’.
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