The European Union has responded to the UK authorities’s claims that they “rejected their formidable proposals” for visa-free journey for touring musicians and “letting down music on each side of the Channel”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to meet with MPs to discuss the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the influence of Brexit on touring musicians from the UK, with the arrangements of his recent trade deal not but securing visa-free journey for artists and their crew.
With out the implementation of those ‘Musicians’ Passports’, it’s feared that huge costs to future live music tours of the continent will be incurred – which might particularly prevent rising and developing UK artists from being able to afford to tour, creating a possible “glass ceiling” and threatening the soundness of the UK’s £5.8billion music trade.
Earlier right this moment (January 13) Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden put the blame for this at the foot of the EU following reports that a “standard” proposal that would exempt performers from needing a visa to enter countries in the EU for trips under 90 days was actually turned down by the UK government. Now the EU has responded to assert that this isn’t the case.
Protestors display in opposition to Brexit CREDIT: Getty Photographs
It’s claimed that the UK refused to debate each lengthy and brief time period mobility, together with a reciprocal dedication to visa-free short-stay journey and a joint checklist of paid exercise exemptions. The EU had supplied visa-free and 90 days in each 180-day interval authorized certainty and predictability throughout all EU MS through a joint declaration on paid actions (exempting artists/musicians from the potential of Member States to ask a visa for paid actions of their case) of their draft agreement final March.
The UK later supplied a deal of musicians being visa-free for the a lot shorter interval of 30 days below “mode 4” commitments with a visa being supplied for longer than that, which the EU rejected. “Mode 4” signifies that these wishing to journey can be “impartial” to entry and keep necessities throughout that interval, which means that musicians and crew might nonetheless be required a visa or a piece allow if EU nations would select to take action.
“The UK has chosen to not enable the free motion of EU residents to the UK,” a European Fee spokesperson instructed NME. “It additionally refused to incorporate a chapter on mobility within the Settlement. These decisions inevitably imply that journey between the EU and the UK – together with for enterprise functions – will not be as straightforward because it was whereas the UK was a Member State.
“Neither the short-term enterprise customer class nor the contractual service provider/impartial skilled classes of Mode 4 cowl musicians.”
They continued: “The UK refused to incorporate a dedication on visa-free brief stays within the Commerce and Cooperation Settlement. Such forms of commitments within the EU’s worldwide agreements are often accompanied by a Joint Declaration explicitly excluding sure classes (for instance, sportspersons, artists and journalists) from the requirement to have a visa. In consequence, it’s now as much as every Member State to find out if a visa is required for short-stay visits for the aim of finishing up a paid exercise. That is absolutely according to EU regulation.
“An inventory of Member States and Schengen nations which apply the ‘paid exercise exception’ to the UK is to be discovered on the Commission website.”
They added: “People who think about that their go to could fall below the ‘paid exercise’ class are strongly suggested to verify with the consular authorities of every Member State to see if a visa is required earlier than their go to.”
Yannis Philippakis from Foals performs at L’ Olympia on February 3, 2016 in Paris, France. (Picture by David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns)
Providing a comment to NME earlier today, Mr Dowden doubled down on claims that “a number of the reporting has been inaccurate”, whereas arguing that “your Authorities fought to get an excellent deal for British music exactly as a result of we recognise how invaluable this trade is to the nation”.
Elaborating on the “extra formidable settlement” that they pushed for, he mentioned: “We sought a mutually helpful settlement that will have allowed performers to proceed working and carry out throughout the continent with out the necessity for work permits. Musicians, artists, entertainers and help employees would have been captured by the checklist of permitted actions for short-term enterprise guests. This was a simple resolution for our artistic industries which might have benefited all sides.
“However the EU turned it down, repeatedly. It didn’t suggest and wouldn’t settle for a tailor-made deal for musicians and artists. I’m afraid it was the EU letting down music on each side of the Channel – not us.”
Mr Dowden added that whereas the “consequence is regrettable, it doesn’t must be last”, and inspired additional negotiation with a view to “make it as simple as attainable for UK artists to proceed placing on performances throughout the continent”.
“The treaty we negotiated has a overview clause that enables us to revisit the checklist of permitted actions for short-term enterprise guests, however we shouldn’t have to attend for that if each side can agree sooner to do the best factor for our gifted artists,” he continued. “I’ll be making that time to my counterparts in Europe and I hope they modify their minds.”
Tradition Secretary Oliver Dowden (Image: Getty)
Arguing that visa-free journey for artists and crew was mutually helpful for each the UK and the EU, music industry bosses spoke out to claim that there was now “no excuse” for not discovering an answer.
This week has additionally seen music trade insiders amplify their fears that the current Brexit deal could also prevent UK artists from being able to play in the US, claiming that if expertise is unable to accumulate “worldwide recognition” by the same old channel of taking part in neighbouring European nations with ease, then this might make them ineligible for a visa.
Having attracted help from the likes of Foals, Dua Lipa, Biffy Clyro, Tim Burgess, Rubbish and plenty of, many extra whereas surpassing over 250,000 signatures, the “Europe-wide visa-free” petition will now be thought of for a debate in Parliament – whereas music followers are nonetheless being encouraged to sign it in addition to write to their MP.