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.