Performing Arts: EU Countries

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 25th July 2022.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support UK touring acts that are facing challenges as a result of being limited to making three stops in Europe.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing a transitional support package to ensure that UK artists and crews have easy access to the European market.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will support the enablement of unfettered movement of specialist vehicles transporting concert equipment and personnel between multiple points across the EU.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps to ensure that musicians and their entourages are able to work across Europe without impediment.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps with her counterparts in EU member states to agree non-onerous, zero or low cost work and travel arrangements in Europe for musicians and other industry professionals.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will (a) make an assessment of the potential merits of streamlining entry routes into the UK for international artists and their entourages and (b) ensure that immigration guidance for that sector is up-to-date, comprehensive and accessible.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman Minister of State

The Government is committed to supporting the touring sector to adapt to new arrangements with the EU. We have worked with the sector and directly with Member States to clarify arrangements, press for specific changes from Member States, and introduce unilateral measures where possible.

With regards to the movement of vehicles, the Department for Transport has implemented a Dual Registration measure. This enables specialist event hauliers who have an established haulage base outside Great Britain (GB) and who also maintain a GB haulage base and operate for hire and reward to temporarily transfer their vehicles between their two operator licences. We have also confirmed that ‘splitter vans’ that are carrying both equipment (which is not for sale) and up to 9 people do not fall in the scope of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), and their use is therefore subject to the applicable Member State law.

EU Member States are principally responsible for deciding the rules governing what work UK visitors can undertake. Following the Government’s engagement, almost all EU Member States have confirmed they offer visa and work permit free routes for UK musicians and creative performers. This includes Spain and Greece, who introduced visa and work permit free touring routes in November 2021 and June 2022 respectively, following extensive Government and sectoral engagement.

We are working with Member States to ensure their guidance is clear and accessible. We have published general business traveller summaries on GOV.UK, as well as ‘landing pages’ on GOV.UK for the creative sectors.

The Government supports our world leading creative industries across the UK through a range of export support programmes, including the successful Music Export Growth Scheme and the International Showcase Fund. In addition, UK businesses, including touring professionals, can get answers to practical questions online and by telephone through the Export Support Service.

The UK’s immigration rules for touring creative professionals are comparatively more generous than in many EU Member States. The UK’s domestic rules allow musicians, entertainers and artists (and their technical staff) from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, to undertake paid work in the UK through routes which are set out on specific pages for the creative sectors on GOV.UK.

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