A Labour government will seek to overcome post-Brexit touring challenges, says Nick Thomas-Symonds MP


June 21, 2023

Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds – currently Shadow International Trade Secretary – has told the Daily Mirror that, if his party wins the next UK General Election, a Labour government would work hard to overcome the post-Brexit bureaucracy challenges faced by musicians and performers touring Europe.

It’s no secret that, since the UK left the European Union, artists touring Europe have faced an assortment of challenges around visas and permits and carnets and such like.

The specific challenges vary from country to country, and depending on the nature of any one artist’s activities elsewhere in Europe. But for some artists, the costs associated with those challenges have made touring Europe unviable.

The music industry has repeatedly criticised the UK government for failing to ensure that European touring would be hassle free for British artists post-Brexit via the Trade And Cooperation Agreement it signed with the EU. And also for not doing enough to overcome the various country specific problems that arose as soon as that agreement went into force.

Speaking to the Mirror at the Trade Unlocked conference in Birmingham, Thomas-Symonds said that the bad deal for UK artists was the result of “an ideological choice” made by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his chief Brexit negotiator David Frost.

“It just seems to me completely illogical and self-defeating not to make it easier for musicians touring around Europe to be able to do so without the weight of bureaucracy”, the MP said. “We have an extraordinarily vibrant, rich, cultural sector here in the UK – it’s one of our great avenues of soft power around the world. Why wouldn’t we want to see them travelling around Europe showing off their great talents? We should be making it as easy as possible for them to do so”.

The Labour Party reckons it can overcome many of the issues caused by Johnson and Frost’s Trade And Cooperation Agreement when that deal comes up for review in 2025. If – that is – they are in government by that time. There are lots of different issues to deal with, of course, though Thomas-Symonds seemed keen to stress that the issues specifically affecting the music community would be very much on the agenda.

Article By:  


Signup to our newsletter...

Get all the latest product, live & industry news directly to your mailbox.


Your have been signed up to our mail list.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

By filling out this form, you agree with our privacy policy

Join Entourage Pro, it's simple and free.

Become part of the World’s first Verified Global Crew Network dedicated to – and fiercely passionate about – the live events industry.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.