14.01.2021: UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said the EU and UK should work together to resolve the Brexit touring row.
His intervention came as both sides traded accusations over the Brexit deal agreed in December and its potential impact on touring.
Following EU claims that the UK had refused to include a commitment on visa-free short stay in the agreement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden responded, saying the EU was “letting down music on both sides of the Channel”.
Mr Dowden said: “Though the situation has changed, we’re trying to make it as straightforward as possible for UK artists to continue putting on performances across the continent.”
He spoke out in an article for NME amid warnings that the musicians and their crew were not covered by the post-Brexit trade deal – something that could add significant costs to future tours across Europe.
The EU countered, saying the UK had refused to include a commitment in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on visa-free short stays.
UK Music said the key priority now was to ensure that both the EU and UK worked together to find a solution.
Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said:
“It’s very welcome to hear Oliver Dowden stress how important it is that musicians and their crews can continue to work across the Continent without the need for work permits and confirm that a Government offer to this effect remains on the table.
“There is still a great deal of uncertainty in the music industry around the issue of visas and touring. Both the EU and the UK have said they want to resolve this and ensure our world-leading talent can play their part in driving the post-pandemic recovery.
“As an industry, we have no interest in playing a blame game – we just want to understand what has happened and then take steps to resolve this situation. We need both sides to come together and work with the music industry to find a solution that benefits everyone.
“The flow of talent across Europe is vital for the domestic live music scene, recording studios and the whole UK music industry that generated £5.8 billion towards the economy before Covid struck and provided jobs for almost 200,000 people.
“It is vital that all sides now get around the table and agree a way forward that avoids needless red tape and bureaucracy that could put some tours in jeopardy unless we find a solution.”
You can read the Government’s full response here.
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