UK ministers rule out rethink to rescue visa-free tours for band and artists, insisting ‘control of borders’ must come first

Posted by Daniel Hodson (Updated: Saturday, January 23, 2021)

Approximately less than a minute reading time.

UK ministers have rejected the UK music industry's plea to rescue visa-free touring for musicians with the UK and the EU. The reason? To ensure "taking back control of the borders". Caroline Dinenage, culture minister, implied talks would resume providing Brussels "change its mind" about how to resolve the stalemate. 
However, admitted that the EU's initial proposal was thrown out due to fears of clashes with the principle of ending free movement for people after Brexit. “Visa-free touring simply isn't compatible with our manifesto commitment to taking back control of our borders,” she told MPs.

Under pressure, Caroline Dinenage has since agreed to consider publishing all correspondence to reveal exactly what happened in the failed negotiations. Although, she made clear the government’s aim now was to work with individual EU members' states – “to find ways to make life easier” for musicians – rather than reopen talks in Brussels. That would only happen if the EU agreed to the UK proposal under so-called ‘mode 4’ exemptions, which the EU argues is for specialists, providing contracted services, not performers.

Daniel Hodson

Daniel Hodson is a co-founder of Music Missile, and the drummer and founder of various UK bands. His passion stems from both studying and working in the music industry for the past decade.

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