On the 16th July 2021, the Government recognised the important role of the creative and cultural industries. Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, answered a written question on the progress the government had made in negotiating a bespoke Visa Waiver Agreement with the EU for the creative sector. Kirsten Oswald, SNP MP for East Renfrewshire, also asked the Secretary of State to comment on the progress the government had made in reaching bilateral agreements with the EU Member States on cultural exemptions for work permits.
The government response argued a bespoke visa waiver agreement with the EU would require the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) to be renegotiated, but as the basis of the UK’s trading relations with the EU, the government will not renegotiate this. The government also highlighted that the Commission would be likely to argue that any EU-wide visa waiver agreement can only be part of a wider package with a binding non-discrimination clause and a reciprocal visa waiver agreement covering all current and future Member States, as this was what the Commission proposed in the negotiations. This would be incompatible with the government’s manifesto commitment to retain control of our borders.
The Government expressed its commitment to ensuring the sector can adapt to new requirements and ways of working with the EU now we are no longer a Member State.
See the Government’s full response here.