The issue if visa-free work permits for artists and musicians following the end of the transition period has been in the news recently having been highlighted by many famous names who tour Europe for extended periods.
Aberconwy is also home to a great number of self-employed people many of whom are performers and entertainers who will be affected by this change.
I wholeheartedly support performing arts. I am also delighted that the Government recognises the value of the industry and supports ambitious arrangements for performers and artists to be able to work and tour across Europe.
I have been assured that the Government did not turn down a bespoke arrangement from the EU to allow musicians to work and perform in Member States. I understand that the UK proposed to capture the work done by musicians, artists and entertainers, and their accompanying staff, through a list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors. These proposals reflected the asks of the music industry itself, developed in consultation with bodies like the Musicians Union. This would have allowed musicians and support staff to travel and perform in the UK and the EU more easily, without needing work-permits. Unfortunately, the EU repeatedly refused these proposals and made less ambitious ones which would not have enabled touring or covered support staff.
On Tuesday I did have an opportunity during DCMS questions to ask the Minister, on behalf of Aberconwy residents, what reassurances can be given to constituents that practical arrangements such as visas, carnets and cabotage will be easier and simpler for them to deal with in the future?
The Minister confirmed that the Government is continuing to speak with colleagues across all the EU states to see what measures can be put in place to facilitate the arrangements. Some of them have very straightforward arrangements right now—some of them do not impose extra work permits, and some are very flexible when it comes to their visas, and others less so.
The Government need to speak to them to ensure that these arrangements can be as smooth, fast and easy to understand as possible, which is the key to us being able to move forward.
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