While musicians in the UK and Europe fret about the Brexit deal’s impact on touring, the British government and European Commission are arguing about who’s fault it is.
“We sought a mutually beneficial agreement that would have allowed performers to continue working and perform across the continent without the need for work permits. Musicians, artists, entertainers and support staff would have been captured through the list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors,” UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden told the NME. “But the EU turned it down, repeatedly. It did not propose and wouldn’t accept a tailored deal for musicians and artists. I’m afraid it was the EU letting down music on both sides of the Channel – not us.”
Yet when the same site put that view to the EC later yesterday, its spokesperson disagreed. “The UK has chosen to no longer allow the free movement of EU citizens to the UK. It also refused to include a chapter on mobility in the Agreement,” they said. “The UK refused to include a commitment on visa-free short stays in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.” Musicians, meanwhile, are less concerned with who’s to blame: they just want the two sides to sit down and sort it out.