20 January 2021
- Amelia Womack backs letter from leading musicians and deplores loss of soft power and cultural influence
The Green Party has backed a letter from leading musicians calling on the government to ensure musicians’ continued ability to travel paperwork-free while they tour the EU in the post-Brexit era.
The open letter, signed by 110 musical artists including Radiohead and Ed Sheeran and addressed to the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, would ensure touring musicians would not have to go through the costly and bureaucratic process of gaining visas for each country they travelled through. 
Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack said:
“The music industry is one of many that has been utterly failed by this government that has broken its promise to ensure they could move freely after Brexit..
“Not only is the music industry an essential sector of our economy, it is also a vital part of our cultural standing in the world and an important part of our soft power that is now more important than ever. Radiohead and Ed Sheeran have done more to enhance the reputation of Global Britain than a whole generation of politicians.”
The Green Party supports the call from the Musicians’ Union (MU) for a “musicians’ passport” that would cover all 27 EU members’ states, removing the need for multiple permits, and that would also cover road crew and technicians.
“The long, bureaucratic process musicians currently have to face, including domestic immigration checks and the possibility of having to pay for multiple visas across the continent, means that many will simply have to cease touring.
“This negotiating failure is another symptom of the Conservative government’s xenophobic blind-spot when it comes to freedom of movement. Its refusal to see this as a reciprocal right and one that is vital to our economy is hitting musicians as it has already hit lawyers, doctors, academics and the many others who used to travel freely across a labour-market of half a billion people.”
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