Baroness calls on Boris to sort out musician visas

Baroness calls on Boris to sort out musician visas


norman lebrecht

May 28, 2021

In her maiden speech in the House of Lords, my friend Baroness Fleet called on the Government this week to resolve the blockages to British musicians playing in the EU, and vice versa.

Here’s the relvant passage from Hansard:

Concert halls and village halls across the country are ready to take up the challenge of being part of the national rebirth through music and the arts. Like all those for whom culture and the arts are so important, I take this opportunity to urge the Government to negotiate speedily amendments to the visa restrictions and work permits for the EU for all our musicians, actors and artists. They are critical to the livelihoods of tens of thousands of wonderful people and vital to global Britain…


  • Steven Holloway says:

    If the Arts were truly of such vital importance to Fleet, she wouldn’t be sitting on the Government side of the Lords. This is pure politics, else she could have literally and quietly called on Boris, her other friend, for a cup of tea and persuaded him to change his ‘policy on the issues involved.

  • Ulrich Brass says:

    The Baroness, or any other British nobility, can ask for anything but for an agreement two parts need to agree.

    And in this case the EU doesn’t want to agree on a scheme specific only for musicians because the EU imports more UK touring musicians than the UK imports EU ones.

    It’s as simple as that, but the Britons fail to see that in absence of a general free movement deal, you cannot cherry pick those bits are you are more interested on.

  • sonicsinfonia says:

    Well said but a shame Dowden has already stated that he considers it a matter for individuals to resolve because the EU rejected the UK’s generous offer. Most reports of the negotiations on visa-free travel exemptions have it the other way around but the Government has never found the truth to get in the way of blaming Europe.

  • Dave says:

    Please don’t fall into the trap of calling him Boris, his matey brand-name. We don’t normally call politicians by their first name in any case.

    Call him Johnson, which aptly describes what he is, although not the size. He’s quite happy to use that, after all, and I’m sure getting hitched (for the third time and in a Catholic cathedral…) won’t change how much he shares it around. There’s always Spaffer, of course.