UK MUSICIANS will be able to tour Europe without a visa.
An agreement has been reached with 19 EU countries to allow musicians to perform abroad on short tours without the need for visas or complex paperwork.
It comes after months of campaigning by big-name artists such as Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John, who have urged Westminster to end the post-Brexit touring block.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said in a statement: “We want fantastic artists and other creative professionals from the UK to be able to easily tour overseas. We recognize that challenges remain around touring and we continue to work closely with the industry.
“We want to make sure that when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and that our world-renowned creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learn their craft, expand their audiences and show the best of creativity. British in the world. ”
The countries where musicians can perform without needing a visa are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
It is understood that negotiations are still ongoing with other countries to allow musicians and support staff to tour visa-free for up to three months.
SNP’s Pete Wishart, who is also a musician and former member of Runrig, welcomed the announcement.
He said: ‘The decision to scrap tourist visas in the first place was politically driven by the Tories and their ‘Brexit Britain’ ideology – and should never have been taken. Especially since the EU was ready and willing to prosecute them reciprocally.
“It is right that the UK government has finally understood the meaning, done what should have been done from the outset and negotiated to allow our musicians and performers to tour without visas across Europe.
“While visa-free travel for artists to nineteen countries is a good thing, it is not the full access we had under the EU, and I hope the UK government will continue to negotiate to ensure that our artists can travel freely within the 27 EU countries.
“Anything less than this will further increase costs and cut long-standing creative ties between Scotland and certain European countries. »