Isn't it time the UK Government sorted out EU visa free touring?

Business of the House
6th January 2022

Kevin Brennan Labour, Cardiff West
I do not know whether the Leader of the House has had a chance yet to read today’s edition of the New Musical Express, but it contains a long article setting out the continuing problems—12 months after Brexit—for touring artists wanting to work across the European Union visa-free and without unnecessary costs and bureaucracy. In that article, the chief executive officer of the Featured Artists Coalition said:

“To get all of this information we’ve had to get it from multiple sources, but none of them were the government.”

Now that the major obstacle is out of the way with Lord Frost’s welcome departure, may we have a debate about focusing on solving this problem once and for all?

Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
I must disagree with the hon. Gentleman about my noble Friend Lord Frost, a most distinguished figure and servant of this Government and of the nation.

The hon. Gentleman knows that these matters are being discussed between Her Majesty’s Government and individual member states of the European Union, which have responsibility for them. As I think he acknowledges, considerable progress has been made, with a number of countries being very willing to have reciprocal arrangements. May I confess, however, that I have failed, in that I have not read the New Musical Express this morning or, indeed, on any morning that I can recall?