After months of continuous lobbying from unions, industry leaders, artists and the team, representatives of Bectu Live Events took our campaign for tourism professionals further and published a request to FOI for all correspondence between the UK and the EU regarding the EU Trade Agreement and the visa restrictions it imposes:
New legislation following Brexit has crippled our sectors, with many members losing up to 100% of their jobs due to the lack of an ‘deal’ between the EU and the UK on work permits and visas for arts workers after Brexit.
I am researching all correspondence between the UK government and the European Commission regarding visas for tours etc. including details of any formal proposals made by both parties during these negotiations.
The Cabinet Office responded by confirming that it has the requested information but cannot release it under Article 27 of the Freedom of Information Act. Section 27 deals with information that could harm international relations if disclosed, and the Cabinet Office has said it has not yet decided whether serving the public interest is worth disrupting international relations.
Despite unwavering pressure from performers, crews, industry leaders and unions, the government has failed to come up with a solution to the problems posed by the EU trade deal. Failure to provide evidence of correspondence between UK and EU officials is another example of government letting the industry down and strongly suggests that the UK government has not done enough to reopen negotiations for ” a fairer deal for performers and their team.
The UK is renowned for its high level of expertise and skill in live events, with many production companies frequently using Britain as a hub for European work. The requirements of the EU trade deal will force production companies and artists in Europe and the United States to hire technical workers from elsewhere, to avoid additional costs associated with obtaining visas.
Likewise, the EU trade deal promises to hamper the economic benefits the industry provides to the UK. The live events industry adds £ 70billion to the UK economy each year and gives a constant boost to local economies across the country, thanks to the income created by places and hospitality when people come together. are going to attend a concert. Reopening negotiations with the EU is vital to saving the jobs and skills of our highly talented workforce and sustaining the economic benefits that touring brings.
The publication of correspondence between UK and EU officials would greatly assist creative workers, industry leaders and performers in their efforts to ensure the free movement of all tourism professionals. The EU trade deal as it stands does not adequately cover the tour arrangements for performers and their team, placing an enormous financial and logistical burden on the entire community. industry.
Bectu calls on the government to publish the requested information in the FOI on 27e July, and reopen negotiations with the EU.
Read the full answer here.