New visa rules for British actors, theatre workers, and artists, who intend to work in Europe after Brexit are reportedly posing to be a towering obstacle that needs to be immediately addressed. This sentiment was effectively highlighted in a recent open letter signed by well-known British stars, including Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, and Julie Walters.
In the letter, from the British Actors' Equity Association, some of the greatest names in British theatre have requested the UK PM to return to the negotiating desk to ensure visa-free work within the EU for artists.
The letter states that earlier, the artists were able to travel visa-free to Europe. But now the artists need to pay nearly hundreds of pounds, fill in multiple forms, and almost spend weeks just waiting for confirmation, just to do their respective jobs.
Brexit means that most of the people working in the arts field now need to apply for short-terms work permits before traveling for work across several EU countries.
The letter, also signed by Anne-Marie Duff, Ricky Tomlinson, as well as Miriam Margolyes, states that the timing could not be more worse as the industry is still stumbling from the banning of live events and the closure of venues owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paul Fleming, general secretary, Equity, stated that art and entertainment are of much more value to the economy than banking, however the inflexibility of government is threatening an important pillar of the nation’s international soft power as well as a key export.
A spokesperson of the UK government stated that the government wants the creative and cultural professional to be able to work with ease across Europe, in the same manner EU creative workers are working in the UK. The UK government is also working together with the cultural sectors to resolve any new obstacle they might face, so that touring could restart instantly once it is safe to do so.