Ministers make “misleading” claims about the costs and red tape faced by artists trying to tour the EU post-Brexit, a parliamentary inquiry has found.
Liz Truss is being urged to carry out an “urgent review” of repeated claims that the problems have been mitigated, as a committee of peers backs the musicians’ protests, led by Elton John.
His report rejects the late David Frost’s attempt to wash his hands of the controversy, arguing that the Culture Department is to blame, insisting that the Foreign Secretary must take matters into his own hands.
And it is sounding alarm bells about the plight of young musicians, deprived of the chance to pursue their careers after the Brexit trade deal broke the promise of saving visa-free touring.
“We heard clear evidence that young classical musicians, in particular, were being forced out of the profession because they could no longer travel to a European Union member country (or countries) for short-term work,” a letter to the Mrs. Truss.
Elton John has criticized the government for claiming that 21 of the 27 EU countries offer visa-free and work permit-free access while severe restrictions are still in place.
The letter, from the Lords European Affairs Committee, notes that Austria requires permission for visits of more than four weeks, with similar restrictions in Belgium (21 days), the Czech Republic (7 days), el-Bas (6 weeks). ) and in Poland. (30 days).
Charles Kinnoull, chairman of the committee, said the independent“Government websites are not only not accurate, but there has been a lot of misleading information about the processes someone has to go through first.
“It’s an amazing complex. Imagine that you want to perform in Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which makes a lot of sense for a classical musician: there are three completely different regimes to navigate.
The unaffiliated pair said they hoped putting Ms Truss in charge of the EU talks, after Lord Frost’s surprise resignation before Christmas, would help find a “landing zone”.
“It is something that hurts both sides. Not only are UK musicians unable to plan tours, but it’s also detrimental to European artists who want to come here,” added Lord Kinnoull.
the independent revealed that only Spain has reached a new agreement to facilitate post-Brexit tours, despite Boris Johnson’s promise to ‘solve’ the crisis, made 10 months ago.
The trade deal saw the UK reject an EU offer to hold visa-free and permit-free tours, leaving artists mired in costly “mountains of red tape”, the Incorporated Society of Musicians said.
No effort has been made to continue talks with Brussels, although ‘cabotage’ rules, to allow trucks to cross borders, are an EU matter.
The committee’s report states: “There are no legal impediments to setting up a sector-specific visa waiver scheme and this could be done in a way that ensures the UK retains full control of its borders.
“The committee urges the government to reconsider its approach to a visa-free regime and recognize that the decision to implement such a system is itself an exercise of sovereignty. »
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