Today I have written to the Prime Minister on behalf of cross-party MPs demanding urgent action on the crisis facing musicians and crew touring in the EU. I very much look forward to the Prime Ministers response and hope to see positive engagement with him on this important topic.
At a meeting of the APPG on Music that I chaired last week, it was made clear to me that while clarifications issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirming the general principal of visa free working in 20 EU countries were welcome, there are still barriers and not enough clarity for musicians looking to tour the EU, particularly emerging artists.
You will of course be familiar with the economic value the Music Industry brings to our economy and the cultural value the Music Industry brings to the UK as a whole. This is why I believe you have made a pledge in March to ‘fix’ this issue.
I am therefore writing to you to ask that you take urgent steps on three levels:
- Practical unilateral steps to improve the situation, like creating a bespoke music export office to support UK artist looking to play abroad?
- Intensify bilateral negotiations with states like Spain that bar work permits free touring?
- Look to forge an EU level agreement exempting cultural tours from the red tape designed to cover other areas of activity like haulage and formal immigration?
Or I would be most delighted if you could meet with me and the APPG to discuss these issues and potential solutions?
I very much look forward to hearing from you.
David Warburton MP'