Support for touring musicians.
Support for touring musicians.

Local MP Louise Haigh has slammed the Government’s failure to agree visa-free travel for touring professionals post-Brexit.

The MP for Sheffield Heeley is backing a petition that was brought before Parliament on Monday to encourage the Government to seek a better arrangement with the EU for touring professionals and artists.

The petition, which has 280,000 signatures, asked the Government ‘to negotiate a free cultural work permit that gives us visa free travel throughout the 27 EU states for music touring professionals, bands, musicians, artists, TV and sports celebrities that tour the EU to perform shows and events & Carnet exception for touring equipment.’

Under current rules, many touring professionals will be unable to tour for longer than 90/180 days and then only if the engagement is unpaid.

Louise Haigh MP said: “The Government repeatedly promised creative workers that they would be able to travel to and perform in the EU without being subject to unnecessary red tape after 1 January. But the post-Brexit travel rules now in force mean this is absolutely not the case.

“International touring is an essential part of creative workers’ livelihoods and this red tape will hit them hard.

“The loss of earnings is a real kick in the teeth for these workers, especially as many of them have also fallen through the gaping holes in the Government’s furlough schemes.

“Sheffield has an amazing history of live music and I would hate to see that lost because the government can’t come to a suitable arrangement with the EU.”

Shaun Trotter, a Sheffield-based limited company director who provides production services to the entertainment industry said: “I have already had a tough year as a limited company director with almost no Government support through the pandemic, and the lack of attention to service providers in the deal, and the heartbreaking loss to free movement of people, means that my business will be tens of thousands of pounds worse off annually.”

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