Following calls from the music and events industry for Government to negotiate improved post-Brexit regulations for touring musicians and crew on the continent, the prime minister has agreed to meet with MPs to discuss a revised reciprocal agreement with the EU.
Labour MP for Cardiff West Kevin Brennan, who recently took part in the DCMS Select Committee inquiry into the future of UK music festivals, used Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday, 13 January, (Parliament – 12.31) to ask him if he would be willing to meet.
Brennan said there is real disappointment that a reciprocal work-permit-free deal for touring musicians and performers has not been agreed with the EU: “No one is interested in a blame game, it is clearly fixable and in Britain’s economic and cultural interest to do so quickly, but it needs leadership from the top. So will the prime minister meet on this virtually with a small group of MPs including the Conservative chair of the Culture Select Committee?”
Johnson responded: “I will of course insure there is a proper meeting with the honourable gentleman and his colleagues on this subject, which is extremely important. I know our friends in the EU will be wanting to go further to improve things not just for musicians but for business travellers of all kinds. There is a mutual benefit.”
The move follows a report that Government rejected a Brexit agreement with the EU that would have enabled artists to undertake 90-day, visa-free, tours of the continent – a decision labelled “utter insanity” by the Music Managers Forum.