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The post-Brexit red tape facing artists and crew looking to tour the EU have been labelled “absurd and self-defeating” by culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Dowden said the EU was to blame for the situation, which “could have been solved” before 1 January.

MPs called on Government to renegotiate the deal with the EU, including Conservative MP Giles Watling who said: “I know that the EU walked away from our offer, but it must be brought back to the table.

“Touring performers will be left with a double whammy of an industry devastated by Covid and the loss of an entire continent as a venue.”

Culture minister Nigel Huddleston said a working group has been set up by the secretary of state to look at any obstacles which might face British performers seeking to tour.

The exchange came ahead of a Parliamentary debate on 8 February about the post-Brexit EU touring visa issues that have caused uproar in the live music industry. Sir Elton John recently told the BBC he had “very positive” talks with Dowden on the issue.

Last month, John was among more than 100 leading artists and industry executives to sign a letter to Government calling on it to cut the touring red tape and accusing it of “shamefully failing” the country’s performers with its Brexit deal.

Prior to the Parliamentary debate, which is scheduled for 4.30pm, a group of festival operators, industry bodies and MPs will speak at The Carry on Touring Parliamentary briefing on the same day at 11am.

Among the speakers at the briefing will be Parklife Festival (80,000) co-founder Sacha Lord, UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin (pictured), Musicians’ Union general secretary Horace Trubridge and a group of MPs.

The briefing and subsequent debate follow a petition by live music camera director Tim Brennan that has been signed by more than 275,000 people.

To register interest in attending the briefing visit Eventbrite.