Blog: UK Government urged to negotiate visa-free access for artists and musicians – HeraldScotland

The UK Government is being urged to meet and discuss the impact ending EU free movement will have on culture and creative sectors.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has requested an urgent meeting to negotiate visa-free access for artists and other creative professionals touring between the UK and EU, according to a report in The Scotsman.

Ms Hyslop said: “Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit, but Scottish artists and musicians are facing huge barriers to touring and other short-term international work compared to their EU counterparts and will have to understand and comply with 27 different visa regimes.

READ MORE: Brexit: UK Government criticised by leading musicians over negotiating ‘failure’

“That is why I am urging the UK Government to take action and have requested an urgent meeting with the UK Culture Secretary.

“It remains a fact that Europe is the most important international market for many who rely on touring and action is needed now to support musicians and other creative professionals to tour again, when it is safe to do so.

“It is vital that the UK Government stops its attempts to cut off Scotland’s creative talent from the rest of Europe, and instead seeks to negotiate reciprocal visa-free access for artists and performers touring between the UK and EU,” she added.

A spokesman for the UK Government told the Scotsman: “We want our cultural and creative professionals to be able to work easily across Europe, in the same way EU creatives are able to work flexibly in the UK.

“Though the EU rejected proposals that would have allowed this, we’re now working very closely with our cultural industries and the devolved administrations to resolve any new barriers they face, so that touring can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.”

This follows a discussion earlier this week with the Home Office Minister, Kevin Foster, where concerns about the new immigration system and barriers impacting creative professionals wanting to tour the UK, were raised.

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