Photo: Boris Johnson – Prime Minister of England | LONDON — British ministers must overcome their “Brexit ideology” in order to tackle new barriers that might lead to a “slow, steady decline” of the U.K. music industry, artists have warned.

Ten months after Brexit, British touring artists and performers are growing impatient at the lack of solutions to issues such as the lack of an EU-wide visa waiver allowing them to tour the bloc easily and for free; new so-called cabotage rules banning U.K. tour vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes from making more than two stops before returning to Britain; and fresh paperwork needed to take certain musical instruments into the EU.

In a letter to the U.K.’s Brexit Minister David Frost, the House of Lords European affairs committee accused the government of “failing to engage with the industry in a constructive way, continuing to pursue headlines” rather than dealing with the “very serious issues” faced by U.K. touring artists.

According to the committee’s chair Charles Hay, “there is an appearance of a lack of coordination across the multiple departments and agencies” involved in supporting and regulating the creative industries, and “a reluctance to engage” with the industry or the EU to find solutions.
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The clearest example of this was the government’s refusal to agree visa-free travel for business purposes — including touring — in the Brexit trade negotiations, out of fear this could undermine Boris Johnson’s pledge to control immigration, Pemberton said.
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Since mobility is a competence of EU member states, the U.K. has tried to remove the need for visas and work permits by negotiating with the 27 EU countries individually.
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Out of the seven countries without a visa-waiver, Spain remains the most bureaucratic and expensive. Each musician might have to spend £180 on permits in order to perform in the country, which adds up to a huge amount for an orchestra, he added.

After Brexit, musicians transporting instruments containing materials such as ivory, Brazilian rosewood and abalone into the EU must secure a Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) permit. But Pemberton said only last week U.K. officials agreed to look into the lack of facilities for these checks on Eurostar trains, despite the industry having raised this issue since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
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Read the whole, disgusting story here:

[Thank you to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article.]

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