UK government rejects EU offer of visa-free tours for musicians

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  • The proposal was for 90-day stays, The Independent reports.
  • UK government rejects EU offer of visa-free tours for musicians image
  • The UK government has rejected an offer from the European Union of visa-free tours for musicians, The Independent reports. A source close to the negotiations told The Independent that the UK turned down the "standard" proposal for non-EU countries, which would allow touring professionals to stay 90 days without a visa. This is because the UK, which recently introduced stricter controls on immigration, doesn't want to grant EU states the same arrangement. "I'm horrified by this new development," Deborah Annetts, CEO of the Incorporated Society Of Musicians, told The Independent. "The government must come clean about what steps it took to protect the performing arts in the negotiations. The music sector feels deeply let down by the government and we want to get to the bottom of what happened." As of January 1st, both EU and non-EU artists must apply for visas if they wish to visit the UK for more than 30 days. (They must also provide proof of savings and a sponsorship note from the promoter.) The Independent understands that the UK government was pushing for a similar deal for UK musicians. This is a blow for the UK music community after nearly 250,000 people signed a petition demanding visa-free travel in the EU. If no EU-wide agreement materialises, it'll be up to each member state to decide its own visa requirements for UK musicians. Photo credit: Alexander Popov
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