Tim Brennan & Ian Smith Address the Parliamentary Briefing Monday 8th Feb 2021


The videos below are Tim Brennan & Ian Smith addressing the Parliamentary Briefing on Monday 8th Feb.
Present were:
o Tim Brennan, Petition Creator & Freelancer
o Ian Smith, Frusion Management & UKE Arts Work 
o Louise Richards, Executive Director of Motionhouse 
o Eliza Carthy MBE, Folk Singer 
o Howard Goodall CBE, Composer 
o Fish (Derek Dicks), Singer-songwriter, Marillion 
o Sacha Lord, Director of the Warehouse Project & GMCA NTE Advisor 
o Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO of UK Music o Horace Trubridge, General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union 
o Noel McClean, National Secretary of BECTU 
o Jessie Murphy, Founder of Let Music Live o Julie Elliott MP 
o Tracy Brabin MP
o Kerry McCartney MP 
o Lord Tony Berkeley 
o Lord Michael German 
o Pete Wishart MP 
o Alan Brown MP 
o Peter Grant MP 
o Jason McCartney MP 
o Stuart McDonald MP 
o Tommy Sheppard MP 
o Alex Sobel MP 
o Liz Twist MP 
o Matt Western MP 

Tim Brennan addressing the Parliamentary Briefing and final comments on Monday 8th Feb.

Ian Smith addressing the Parliamentary Briefing on Monday 8th Feb.

 Tim’s petition which has almost 300,000 signatures. asks the UK Government to negotiate a free cultural work permit to allow touring professionals visa free travel throughout the 27 EU states and to secure a Carnet exception for touring equipment. 

Now we have left the European Union, UK touring professionals face the problem of having to navigate the differing work permit requirements of those 27 Sovereign EU states. To get work permits for crews (including dancers & performers, techs, video, sound and lighting crew, the riggers, special effects, set carpenters, & automation, wardrobe, makeup and hair, the production team, catering, the drivers, and anyone else working behind the scenes) for each country they visit is burdensome and a huge barrier and cost. 

Tim Brennan, the petition’s creator said: 

“Support for my petition has been phenomenal. Freelancers and touring professionals like myself desperately need MPs and the Government to fight our corner and re-negotiate the current Brexit deal for this industry. This is an issue that has a huge impact on my life and my ability to earn and pay tax through my work in an industry that brings pleasure to millions of people.”

Gill Morris, Campaign Co-ordinator said: “ 

“Clearly Tim’s petition has chimed a chord with the public and the many UK artists and professionals who tour in the cities and nations across Europe. To put it simply, failure to include an EU-wide cultural work permit and visa free travel for touring professionals and artists will have a catastrophic effect across all touring art forms.” 

Carry on Touring want to see the Government to go back to the negotiation table and secure reciprocal arrangements for specified work between the EU and the UK. It says this could be established through a similar system to ETIAS which the EU will bring into place on the 1st of January next year. 

The campaign also calls for Government to ensure that complicated and costly Carnets will not be required for portable musical instruments, and that systems are put in place also to provide grant support for the additional costs of Carnets that may be incurred by bands, groups of musicians and touring professionals travelling together. 

The simple ask of the campaign to Government is for clarity, not more uncertainty for this industry. 

Tracy Brabin, Shadow Culture Minister and Labour’s Candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor said: 

“Our music and creative industries have had a terrible time due to the Coronavirus pandemic and really the last thing they need are these restrictions and red tape on their ability to tour. 

The Government must get back around the table with EU and find a solution to this problem urgently. If musicians and creatives cannot tour Europe easily there will be a significant cultural as well as economic hit which we must avoid. The time for posturing is over, let’s back our creatives.” 

Too many in this sector feel deeply let down. There is a real worry about what this all means for the industry’s future and the impact it will have on the economy. It is already reeling from the impact of Covid-19, and desperately needs the Government to step-in and give clarity. The status quo is not tenable. 

‘Carry on Touring’ is bringing together Parliamentarians from all parties to build on Tim’s petition, galvanise political support and put pressure on the Prime Minister to seek amendment or exemption. 

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Tim Brennan


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Carry on Touring is a public facing campaign to push forward Tim Brennan’s petition – organised by Gill Morris, DevoConnect with the support of Tim Brennan, petition creator and Ian Smith, Frusion Management & UKE Arts Work. 

For media queries please contact:

Gill Morris

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