‘Their loss!’ Jeremy Vine hits out at EU’s refusal to renegotiate key part of Brexit deal

Brexit: Jeremy Vine says it’s EU’s ‘loss’ on music industry

Jeremy Vine told Channel 5 that the UK has the “best music” in the world and it will be Europe’s loss if British musicians cannot tour the continent. Mr Vine added that he does not understand how the trading bloc could contemplate having a deal with the UK that resulted in them being unable to see bands such as The Vamps or The Rolling Stones playing live. 

Mr Vine said: “There is no way of me saying this without sounding a bit nationalistic here but the fact is we have the best music in the world.

“If the deal means we cannot play music in 27 other countries that is their loss.

“I don’t understand why if you were in the EU, why you would ever contemplate a deal with the UK that meant you could not see the Vamps live or the Stones.

He added: “It is a big issue and I want to see how that shakes down.”

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Britain allows European artists and musicians who are invited to perform in the UK to undertake paid work for up to a month without a visa but UK musicians face different visa requirements across the 27 remaining member states.

Touring musicians need a work permit or visa to perform in countries including Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator discussed the UK Government’s decision not to issue vias to touring musicians.

He said: “It was the UK’s decision, I’m not going to keep debating this with the British government. 

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“We issued a proposal as early as March for an ambitious partnership on the free movement of our citizens.

“This was rejected in the name of British independence, of sovereignty and of the country’s new immigration policy which clashed with this proposal.”

A UK Government spokeswoman said regarding the situation: “Proposals during negotiations were based on feedback from the music sector and would have allowed musicians to tour – but the EU repeatedly rejected them. The EU’s offer wouldn’t have worked for musicians and didn’t respect our commitment to take back control of our borders.

“The UK remains more open to touring musicians from the EU than many EU Member States are for UK musicians. The EU and member states could match our arrangements tomorrow if they wanted to, and we hope those in the music industry who have spoken passionately about touring in Europe will encourage them to do so.”

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While a European Commission spokesman stated: “The UK has chosen to no longer allow the free movement of EU citizens to the UK. It also refused to include a chapter on mobility in the post-Brexit agreement].

“These choices inevitably mean that travel between the EU and the UK – including for business purposes – will no longer be as easy as it was while the UK was a member state.

“The UK refused to include a commitment on visa-free short stays in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement… as a result, it is now up to each member state to determine if a visa is required for short-stay visits for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.

“This is fully in line with EU law.”

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