Catherine has called on the Government to show leadership and foresight and get behind UK musicians and artists.

International touring, especially in the EU, is an essential part of creative workers’ livelihoods. But the consequence of the Government’s failure to reach agreement with the EU on short-term working arrangements means our creatives face a whole new set of costs and bureaucratic hoops to jump through when they can finally tour in Europe again after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Where rules for UK artists were once uniform across the EU, they will now vary widely from country to country, with some requiring proof of earnings, translated documents and certificates of education. There are now costly and time-consuming procedures for moving equipment and crew, which may be too great to bear for many upcoming artists and professionals.

The issue was raised through a petition calling on the Government to work toward an EU-wide solution for musicians and other creatives, which has so far collected over 283,000 signatures.

Catherine led the Parliamentary debate on this petition on 8 February, and also questioned the Government Minister responsible at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee session yesterday.

You can watch Catherine speaking in the debate on 8 February here: https://fb.watch/3IQAkTSx8A/

Speaking after yesterday’s hearing Catherine said: 

“The Government has failed to provide the proactive leadership our great creative industry needs.

“From the Minister’s response to my questions yesterday, it is clear the Government has given up on pursuing an EU-wide solution. This will be deeply disappointing to our musicians and creatives, and the over 283,000 people who signed the petition. Nobody wants to turn up and coming drummers and guitarists into bureaucrats, but that is the reality of the situation.

“As the creative industries struggle to recover from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic, they can’t afford to wait years or decades for this to get sorted out. They need the Government to show leadership, get behind them and negotiate an EU-wide solution – sooner rather than later.”

You can watch Catherine’s question to the minister here: https://fb.watch/3IQE53p9QH/

Other information:

The petition currently has more than 283,000 signatures: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/563294

The 8 February debate followed on from an evidence session which took place on 4 February: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/563294

Following the end of the Brexit transition period, short-term working arrangements now vary by EU state: https://www.ism.org/advice/eu-work-permit-requirements-for-musicians

Musicians must also deal with ‘Carnets’, charges for taking instruments and other equipment across borders in the EU.

You can watch the full Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hearing from 16 February here: www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/4bd22d71-fc47-48e5-b87a-15fc07eab0cb