A PETITION calling for the Government to resolve issues around EU touring visas for musicians and crews has attracted more than 250,000 signatures.

Since leaving the EU at the beginning of the year, British musicians and other creatives are no longer guaranteed visa-free travel and may need additional work permits to play in some countries.

A petition, launched by Tim Brennan, is calling for an agreement to be reached with the EU so that artists can perform across the 27 member states without the need for a work permit.

Dua Lipa

Brennan said: “The UK has a huge music/event touring industry which has suffered immensely due to Covid.

“After the end of the transition period, we face further hardship when trying to tour the EU on a professional basis with potentially each country asking for its own visa that would be valid only for one trip.

“As a freelancer I and many like me travel through the EU countless times a year on different tours and events. This will become impossible due to cost and time if we do not have visa-free travel.”

Currently, the petition has 258,737 signatures and been backed by the likes of  Biffy Clyro and Dua Lipa

Musicians including One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson and former Boyzone star Ronan Keating have also  encouraged their fans to support the campaign.

Last week Cabinet Office minister Lord True said talks with Brussels over visa-free travel for artists were “unlikely” to restart in the near future.

Composer and cross-bench member of the House of Lords, Michael Berkeley, said it left many in a “perilous position”.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “Short-term visitors to the EU can continue to join business meetings, receive training, and attend sporting and cultural events, amongst other permitted activities, without requiring a visa.

“Some member states may allow other types of travel visa-free, so people should check the rules of the country they are travelling to.

“The UK pushed for a more ambitious agreement with the EU on the temporary movement of business travellers, which would have covered musicians and others, but our proposals were rejected by the EU.

“We recognise that there could be some additional processes for those working in creative industries, but we have ensured that the visa application processes for longer-term business travel will be transparent, to provide certainty and clarity.”

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