Thom Yorke leads condemnation of ‘spineless’ decision to ‘reject’ EU offer to waive touring visas
The Independent understands that ‘standard’ proposal exempting musicians from visa process was rejected because the government is denying that same right to EU artists visiting the UK
Musicians and other members of the culture sector are reacting with fury over the news that the UK government “rejected” an offer from the EU to waive touring visas for British musicians.
An exclusive report in The Independent revealed that a “standard” proposal – that would exempt performers from the cost and bureaucracy of visas allowing them to tour EU countries – offered the same exemptions to the UK as enjoyed by countries as contrasting as the US and Saudi Arabia.
The Independent understands that this was turned down because the government is insisting on denying that same right to EU artists visiting the UK to perform, in part due to home secretary Priti Patel’s harsh stance on immigration.
“It is usually in our agreements with third countries, that [work] visas are not required for musicians. We tried to include it, but the UK said no,” an EU source close to the negotiations said.
The revelation comes as the music industry is already under great strain from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
On social media, artists and music fans have condemned the government for its failure to help protect the industry, which in 2019 contributed an estimated £5.8bn to the UK economy.
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke called MPs “spineless f***s” in a tweet, while Tim Burgess said the industry and fans were “owed an explanation”.
Actor, comedian and director David Schneider said the decision was “unforgivable”.
“It’s like they’re determined to destroy every successful industry we have,” he said.
Actor and director Samuel West tweeted: “I’ve woken up crushed by the mulish perversity of this decision. To make it so much harder to speak the international language of music across borders feels like spite.”
Ivor Novello award-winning musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney said: “Why the hell is this government so keen on destroying the music industry??? They give no money to struggling artists (none of the £1.7 billion was for artists themselves) and then this after lockdown robs musicians of live performance income. Why???”
“This is an unbelievably sad and harmful decision for all musicians in this country,” artist Felix White said.
Labour MP Angela Rayner said the government’s decision was “unforgivable”, and accused the Conservatives of using musicians and performing artists as “a political football”.
“We need to be doing everything we can to support our brilliant musicians, music sector and creative industries,” she said.
UK music festivals suffered a drop in revenue of 90.2 per cent last year, with festival organisers still uncertain as to whether they will be able to hold events this summer.
The head of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) told The Independent that she was “horrified” by the evidence that an offer on music was spurned, while Labour said fans would “not forgive” the government.
Labour Leader Keir Starmer has promised today that if elected, he will abandon the Labour Manifesto promise to rejoin the EU's freedom of movement zone.
Starmer is making a move for the Tories who think Boris is incompetent due to his Covid-19 dithering and tax hikes, sir Keir is now addressing the Tories directly by writing on the Telegraph that Boris should not hike up the taxes:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/0 ... upporting/
The Labour leader is writing on the Torygraph calling the Tories not to raise any taxes.
Well, we've seen everything now. This guy is a real smooth operator, Boris is in real trouble but in more particular news, the UK has gone full retard.
It is losing billions in City trading per day, it's product hub nature being a hub for products going from Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand into the EU has been utterly dismantled losing billions per day that have yet to be accounted for, its fish exports have been suspended entirely because bureaucracy means that the fish are rotting while big European customers do not trust the fish will make it there in time so they are no longer keen to buy fresh British fish. The UK wants European and British artists and their entourage to be subjected to a strict visa regime with no exceptions. And both major parties agree that this is the way forward for the UK.
Boris was hoping that Starmer would try to undermine his hard Brexit and had changed the slogan: "Get Brexit done" to "Keep Brexit done", Starmer though does not want to fall into his trap and be called a Remoaner who will undo Brexit so he is going along with Johnson's Brexit full steam ahead.
...take your common sense with you, and leave your prejudices behind...