UK musicians appeal to Parliament for right to play in the EU

UK musicians appeal to Parliament for right to play in the EU


norman lebrecht

December 28, 2020

In the Brexit agreement, musicians and entertainers were left off the list of workers not needing visas to work in EU member countries.

That means they will face visa costs of 139 Euros in countries such as Austria, a popular destination for British performers. For orchestras it will mean no more Eurostar tours, no more trips to Spain.

Tim Brennan has put up a petition, urging the Government and Parliament to redress the omission.

We would like the UK Govt to negotiate a free cultural work permit that gives us visa free travel throughout the 27 EU states for music touring professionals, bands, musicians, artists, TV and sports celebrities that tour the EU to perform shows and events & Carnet exception for touring equipment.

If the petition gathers 100,000 signatures,  it will be considered by the Petitions Committee for a debate in Parliament. So far, it has 169,829 signatures and rising.

Do your bit. Sign here.

UPDATE: We’ve got a debate.


  • Hilary says:

    The UK has been diminished by Brexit, quite literally maybe. A monumental act of self harm.

  • ursula says:

    Sorry, but there is no hope of that – if it is not in the agreement, it is not in the agreement. Representation should have been made for this during the negotiations. This is not an area identified as being outside the agreement. No exceptions, and the UK Govt clearly know that.

    • Tony says:

      Does not look good for technical teams in audio and video recording either. We’ll need ATA carnets to take our equipment in and out of the EU. They cost hundreds or thousands of pounds which clients will not want to pay.

      So much discussion of fishing rights which have ended up being kicked into touch for a few years.
      Meanwhile these issues for performers and technical creatives get forgotten or dismissed.

      Will we be able to work in N. Ireland without documentation?

      • V. Lind says:

        Why wouldn’t you?

      • recording engineer at work says:

        “We’ll need ATA carnets to take our equipment in and out of the EU”

        sorry you talking utter nonsense.
        Audiovisual “teams” won’t have any trouble working all over the EU just as before.

        If you ever take the trouble to think a’s hard I know but….
        On the walls of some London tube stations it says “open a business in Estonia”.

        An E-business, very simply makes it possible to drive a coach and horses through all the EU paperwork, and is very simple to set up.

        When I read all the BS and disinformation on this site about very simple formalties on both sides of the channel, I simply can’t believe it’s possible to invent such hype.

        Maybe you just got the BBC disease…spreading BS like wild fire?

        • Tony says:

          Not true. No need to be rude either, especially when you have incorrect information. We already do ATA carnets for taking our equipment in the USA, Canada, Japan, Norway, etc.. We did carnets for jobs in Europe before the UK joined the Single Market and Customs Union. No strangers to the system.

          We consulted Chamber of Commerce and HMRC, our accountant researched as well.

          Check your facts before making stupid accusations and assertions.

          • recording engineer at work says:

            And those countries you mentioned in your nonsense?
            They are part of the EU?? “USA, Canada, Japan, Norway,”
            This is all total disinformation. only NORWAY is in Schengen.

            I have worked in France many many times with nothing even close to the kind of complications you refer to, but the problem is not BREXIT, it’s the stupid and highly relevant fact >THE UK NEVER SIGNED SCHENGEN!!!
            They thought it was so clever didn’t they?

            All the problems that are likely to appear have F-all to do with with Brexit it’s SCHENGEN stupid!
            Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and all the other EU members joined the SCHENGEN zone. You can legislate all you like, but the UK DID NOT WANT to join the Schengen zone period!

            Schengen guarantees free right of movement, free rights to work etc etc, it’s got zilch to do with Brexit.

            Of course, the UK could survive happily outside the Schengen zone (even had passport checks at the borders didn’t it eh?) so long as it was part of the EU.
            Now the elephant in the room is not Brexit it’s the sudden reversion to the old system of NO freedom of movement.
            Those of us expats of course will never have this problem so the boot is on the other foot isn’t it??
            I do find it somehow funny and ironic, that those of us who chose to leave did it for good reasons which usually those on the island derided us for.

            Now we are laughing at them, as we can go work in restaurants, ski resorts, orchestras, recording concerts and get employment wherever we like while they can’t – and whinge and moan about it.

            There’s nothing worse than “whinging poms” is there?
            You expect sympathy?

            No way,- you did nothing for us expats for 30+years, while lots of us took all the risks and exported for you lazy islanders, cos you can’t even speak a foreign language proficiently!

            Now take a dose of your own medicine and see how you like it!!

          • Miko says:

            Good god, an unwelcome peek into the mind of generation “I’m alright Jack, screw you”.
            I speak 5 languages, work in an industry that will be butchered by brexit, my child’s future education is threatened by it, and you boast?
            Don’t come back.

        • Miko says:

          Why don’t you spell out the costs of E business application in Estonia? Being a bit selective with your “facts”?

          • recording engineer at work says:

            Look it up for yourself!
            why should I make life easy for you?
            (hint it’s cheap and takes 5 mins to register)

            More whinging poms I see,- you didn’t answer the questions about Schengen did you?
            As for Brexit, the only good thing the British have done in decades.

            It was high time to show a middle finger to the Brussels bullies so they don’t try the “you didn’t vote right first time… have to do it again!”
            Remember Ireland??

            France and the EU treaty? They voted against so they (mostly GISCARD) rewrote more densely so nobody would understand anything!
            Want to end up like Greece so not even your grand children have a future?

            Get a life!!
            We’ve seen enough of the Verhofstedts and the other pigs in troughs to last us a whole life time.

          • Miko says:

            You’re clearly frothing at the mouth.
            You should lay off the sauce. Diabetes awaits.

          • Hayne says:

            Ad hominem attacks don’t address ANY of his points, do they?

    • buxtehude says:

      @ Ursula — This may be just the first of many hopeless and misdirected appeals — until it sinks in how many important, even essential things have been lost under the leadership of the dunderheads.

      Disaster capitalism is what it is, revolution from above: throw everything up in the air and after it crashes back down grab whatever comes loose. Sauve qui peut.

    • Au contraire! A great deal of lobbying took place by musicians as we sought information and clarity. To leave musicians out is inappropriate as we are a net contributor not a drain on resourcès.

  • Mark Pemberton says:

    In fact in most European countries musicians will not need work permits as there are exemptions for business visits for cultural purposes, similar to the UK’s Permitted Paid Engagement. I’m afraid this petition is misguided.

    • Miko says:

      Rumbled! (Again).
      Oliver D will be pleased.
      The rest of us look in in horror.

    • Miko says:

      “I’m afraid this petition is misguided”
      Perhaps the Association of British Orchestras would like to elucidate how their discussions at the DCMS might point to sunny brexit uplands of opportunity for the orchestral sector?
      Extra costs/red tape for touring in the EU? Broadcast rights?
      And what are you offering in exchange? Rule Britannia at the close of every concert?
      Golden orchestral epics at the Dowden’s Brexit Festival? Or perhaps a patriotic “Reichmusikfest” of imperial British music?

      If you’re too coy to share it publicly, you might be able to twist Norman’s arm to give you my email. It can be our secret, Mark.

    • Miko says:

      In your cosy chats with Oliver Dowden, did you present him with an impact assessment on the orchestral sector resulting from Brexit? Do share, Mark, your “membership” (giggle) is keening for your wisdom.

  • Brettermeier says:

    Sorry to remind you, but that’s what you guys voted for.

    (“But… We voted for rainbows and ponies and fish for all!” – “Told you so?”)

    • European says:

      A gentle reminder that only 38% of the total electorate voted for Brexit…not all of us wanted it!

      • HugoPreuss says:

        And that is the folly of allowing a national referendum without a quorum in questions of monumental political consequences, esp. when nobody has any idea about what these consequences might be.

      • Brettermeier says:

        “not all of us wanted it!”

        Yet, here we are.

      • Ellingtonia says:

        And if the vote had gone the other way with exactly the same figures, would you be agitating for a rerun of the vote on the same basis……………..a deathly silence!!!!!!

        • Miko says:

          Err, no, because it would have been a sensible outcome.

          • Ellingtonia says:

            You mean a “sensible outcome” in your opinion. As it is over 17 million thought that leaving was a sensible outcome, but of course those people are ill educated, racist and sexist idiots, in your opinion of course. When you grow up someone will take the trouble to explain what a democratic process is, and that if a vote goes against your wishes you simply don’t keep repeating it until you get the outcome that you want.
            And perhaps you might want to reflect for a moment on the sheer arrogance of your response “it would have been a sensible outcome”.

          • Miko says:

            Under educated (statistically proven) and clearly racist as the campaign to leave was entirely built on racist propaganda. Sexist? Who knows, I’ll give you that.
            Still, you won, get over it. You own it now.

          • Ellingtonia says:

            Oh, I do love the pathetic whining of losers. You lost, get over it!
            As regards under educated, you mean working class oiks like me………I will take that as a compliment from an arrogant, narcissistic “hooray Henry”

  • Lausitzer says:

    Brexit means Brexit.

  • Marios Hajipanayi says:

    We must endeavour to keep the positive links that have been formed over the years and continue to exchange ideas and celebrate our diversities