Home Business These Musicians' Visas - This Is What The EU Imposes On Everyone

These Musicians’ Visas – This Is What The EU Imposes On Everyone



There’s much complaining and wailing about the manner in which musicians and other luvvies no longer get to tour the remnant EU without having lots of pieces of paper. The surface of the problem being that each individual country gets to decide about work permits ‘n’ stuff for people outside the r-EU. So, that means there are 27 different systems to negotiate.

Then add on top of that the EU’s own nonsense. For example, carnets. Each instrument needs a special little badge. For which you pay £350 by one estimate. This is because as a travelling musician you might bring stuff in and sell it without having paid tariffs and taxes, thereby undermining the vitally important r-EU instrument building industry.

The solution to this being not the payment of the tariffs and taxes into an account to be returned on the re-export, but the payment of the non-returnable £350. Well done there, vry well done that man.

But there’s a deeper point to be made here:

Sir, British musicians, dancers, actors and their support staff have been shamefully failed by their government. The deal done with the EU has a gaping hole where the promised free movement for musicians should be: everyone on a European music tour will now need costly work permits and a mountain of paperwork for their equipment. The extra costs will make many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians who are already struggling to keep their heads above water owing to the Covid ban on live music. This negotiating failure will tip many performers over the edge.

We urge the government to do what it said it would do and negotiate paperwork-free travel in Europe for British artists and their equipment. For the sake of British fans wanting to see European performers in the UK and British venues wishing to host them, the deal should be reciprocal.

Well, yes, but this is just the sort of shit that has always been imposed – because they’ve not changed their rules at all – on all from outside the EU into the EU. We imposed all these same rules ourselves up until that few weeks back.

This is evidence of the costs of EU membership, not evidence of the costs of leaving.

Hauliers carrying stage equipment can visit only three cities.

Standard EU shit. Lorries – and other transport companies – can deliver in and out of the EU. But those from outside are not allowed unlimited access to the internal market. Cabotage, as it is known, is limited. That is, if you’re not EU yourself – or by lorry registration, whatever – you can’t carry freight from Cologne to Krakow to Capri to Cadiz in the same way that an EU folk can do. There’s nothing special about musicians or arts touring here. This is a barrier put up to everyone from outside that r-EU.

Which is the point here. All of these barriers are what have existed this past 40 years against people from outside the charmed circle of nations. Given that imports are the point of trade these are thus illustrations of how much poorer the EU has made us as consumers.

The more people complain about the regulations making exports or even imports difficult now the more we should be noting how those same problems have made us poorer as a result of EU membership.



  1. I remember an episode of Who’s Line Is It that had to have a stand-in because Ryan Styles had been “deported” as he/they hadn’t filled in the correct paperwork to “import” his comedy and show sufficient proof that his comedy wasn’t available from a native producer.

  2. I get the feeling this is all connected with various sorts of government funding. Orchestras playing to foreigners, an utterly ridiculous thing considering the standard of orchestras everywhere.

    “cultural exchange with the continent”? What decade are these people living in? Biggest music video on the internet is from a pudgy Korean guy. Biggest metal album a few years ago was Babymetal, from Japan. You can listen to Tuvan throat singing and Icelandic herding calls at the click of a button on YouTube. The idea that we’re all going to become Neanderthals because someone playing Mahler or landfill indie can’t play to a small hall in the Netherlands is just laughable.

  3. I suspect that if they “fix” this for the British luvvies they won’t care whether the EU continues to apply these requirements to luvvies from other countries outside the EU.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

Support Us

Recent posts

Just How Stupid Can You Be About British Recovery Bonds?

This Starmer idea of British Recovery Bonds. Or, as Richard Murphy is claiming, his idea of stealing everyones' savings. It's possible to wonder at...

So How Do We Stop Big Business Lobbying Government?

Let's assume that we actually want to stop business - big business if you prefer - from lobbying government. We do have to assume...

The Usual Ghastly Nonsense About Fresh Water Fish

Or perhaps the usual ghastly nonsense about an environmental problem. They do this all the time. Take something which really is a problem in...

Aww, Bless, Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, Doesn’t Understand Tax Incidence

This is somewhere between amusing and worrying: The Treasury has been urged to “step up and sort out” the digital services tax to close a...

There Are No Destitute People In The United Kingdom

We have a report out that insists that hundreds of thousands have been made destitute by the coronavirus. This is not actually true for...

Recent comments