Lucy Thraves


UK’s post-Brexit cultural sector may suffer without visa agreements, says House of Lords

8:00, 26th July 2018

According to a report published by the House of Lords, reciprocal arrangements for movement of people between the UK and the EU are needed to avoid a decline in skilled cultural sector workers coming to the country.

The report, entitled Brexit: movement of people in the cultural sector, suggests that bringing EU cultural workers under the same restrictions as currently apply to third country nationals could harm the sector, because existing visa rules require a minimum salary in excess of what many cultural organisations can offer.

In addition, it points out that the ability to move between the UK and EU at short notice is integral to the business model of many cultural sector organisations, as in the services of consultants and freelance workers operating on a project basis.

The House of Lords EU Home Affairs sub-committee suggests that the government consider two possible visa options that would recognise the importance of freedom of movement between cultural sector workers:

  • Extending the permitted paid engagement and permit-free festival arrangements to EU citizens;
  • Offering a multi-country, multi-entry short-term ‘touring visa’ for EU citizens, and seek a reciprocal commitment for UK citizens travelling to the EU.

Lord Jay of Ewelme, chairman of the committee, said: ‘If the government is to achieve its wish to establish an immigration system that meets the needs of the post-Brexit economy, the UK’s negotiators will need to be flexible.

‘This means recognising that any restrictions on EU citizens wishing to enter the UK to work may be matched by reciprocal restrictions on UK workers in the EU.’


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