The UK's Musicians Union is backing calls for a post-Brexit touring visa for its 30,000+ members
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The UK Music chief has warned the industry "urgently needs a visa arrangement in place" post-Brexit, with his proposed live music passport finding support among officials
By Jon Chapple on 11 Jan 2018
Michael Dugher, the chief executive of UK Music, has said the industry umbrella group is still pushing for a touring ‘passport’ for British artists after Brexit, should UK and EU officials not come to an agreement on freedom of movement.
Dugher said in September the UK should consider introducing a “single EU-wide live music ‘touring passport’ to avoid new restrictions, costs and bureaucracy on artists and musicians” after Britain leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
Speaking to IQ yesterday, Dugher (pictured) reiterated his support for the measure, saying the music industry “urgently” needs clarity on post-Brexit travel arrangements for when, as is planned, UK-EU freedom of movement ends in 2019.
“We’ve been talking to ministers, officials, the Migration Advisory Committee, to say, ‘Look, we urgently need a visa arrangement in place for when Britain does exit the European Union,’ he explained, “so that artists and their crews and their equipment and everything else can move freely at short notice and access gigs across the European Union.
“We urgently need a visa arrangement in place for when Britain exits the European Union”
“That’s something we’ll be continuing to press.”
Asked if the idea of a touring passport has found much in the way of support in the corridors of power, Dugher – a former Labour member of parliament who became UK Music CEO last April – said: “Yes, definitely”, adding that, “in fairness to the [Conservative] government, they’re trying very hard to come up with a solution to this.”
Leading visa experts told IQ last year a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, with no provisions for European freedom of movement, would likely have a negative impact on international touring. “If the current customs regulations are made more time-consuming, that will impact live tours, putting tight time schedules at risk,” said T&S Immigration Services’ Steve Richard.
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