Wishart secures action on Brexit visa guidance for artistes

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has today secured a commitment that the Scottish Government will develop practical Brexit visa guidance for artistes.

In a virtual session of the Scottish Parliament, Ms Wishart noted that new complicated visa arrangements with added costs make it harder for musicians who want to work in Europe or who want to come to Shetland for events like the Shetland Folk Festival. Ms Wishart asked the Scottish Government to work to produce accessible guidance for musicians trying to navigate new Brexit visa processes.

Minister for Europe, Jenny Gilruth, said it was “a sensible and reasonable suggestion” and agreed to look in to the matter.

Commenting, Ms Wishart said:

“New Brexit visa processes are a blow to the music industry, which has already suffered so much during the pandemic. Complicated arrangements will hurt both established and aspiring young musicians and could make touring financially impossible. The wider supply chains will also be impacted.

“Shetland is world renowned for traditional music. It would be a tragedy if events like the Shetland Folk Festival or Accordion and Fiddle Festival were hampered by the UK Government’s last-minute Brexit deal. The very least that government can do is to make sure artistes have some guidance for navigating new systems so the creative sector can rebuild and thrive once pandemic restrictions allow for live events again.”

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