British musicians fear they can’t tour Europe and talk about “shame”.

Brexit will allow some trips without visa but not for music industry professionals. Radiohead, Elton John, Ed Sheeran or Iron Maiden claim that Boris Johnson spoke to them “shamefully” and ask for a review of the agreement

Singers Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher and Sarah Connolly are among the hundred British artists who sign a letter of protest against the bureaucratic obstacles, provided for in the ‘Brexit’ agreement, to be able to tour Europe

The list of subscribers to the letter, published today in the British daily The Times, includes, in addition to singers, other workers in the music industry, such as dancers, actors and technicians. In the letter, these artists claim that Boris Johnson’s government failed them “shamefully”.

The trade agreement signed in December between the European Union and the United Kingdom will allow work and business trips, without the need for a visa, to British citizens from various sectors, but leaves out professionals in the music industry.

Thus, these artists will be subject to the labour laws of each of the countries where they work.

In the letter, British artists warn that they will have to apply for “expensive work permits” and fill out “a mountain of paperwork” to be able to transport equipment.

“The extra costs will make many tours unfeasible, especially for young emerging musicians, who are struggling to stay afloat because of the ban on playing live because of covid-19,” they warn.

Faced with this “failure in negotiations”, which will lead many artists “to the limit”, the signatories of the letter urged the British government to “do what it said it would do”, and wake up with Brussels to travel around Europe without bureaucratic obstacles for British musicians and their teams.

Among the hundreds of subscribers to the letter, besides Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher and Sarah Connolly, are also singers like Sting, musicians like Roger Taylor, bands like the Sex Pistols, Iron Maiden and Radiohead, and orchestra directors like Simon Rattle.

In the letter, they criticize the fact that, in the agreement reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union, there is “a great vacuum where the promised free movement of musicians should be included”, but neither London nor Brussels take responsibility for this “failure”.

By the end of December, more than 167,000 people in the United Kingdom had signed a public petition calling for cultural professionals in the United Kingdom to have freedom of movement within the European Union, post-Brexit.

The petition was launched days after the European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement on the future post-Brexit partnership, which was signed on 24 December and entered into force provisionally on 1 January this year.

Before that, the Union of Musicians of the United Kingdom had already called attention to the lack of clarification in the agreement on the situation of artists and music professionals, and also launched a petition in which it defends the creation of a Musicians Passport.

The trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union will allow the mobility of European and British citizens for short stays (maximum 90 days in a row).

This agreement establishes that the United Kingdom will allow visa-free access for European citizens who wish to make short stays in the country, for a maximum of 90 days in a row and 180 days a year.

In the same way, British citizens will be allowed a short stay in countries that are part of the European Union (EU).

However, according to the document, the United Kingdom has refused to include a specific paragraph relating to mobility between British territory and the EU area and has not committed itself in writing to facilitating long-term stays, except for temporary movements of people for commercial purposes.

Thus, the agreement does not cover the right of EU citizens to enter (with or without a visa) to work, reside or stay in the United Kingdom, nor the opposite.

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