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Tories Putting Scotland's Reputation At Risk With "Ridiculous Barriers"

The SNP has warned that the Tories are putting Scotland’s international reputation at risk with the "'narrow-minded" decision to leave musicians and performers off the list of workers permitted to enter the EU without a visa under Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit agreement.

Gordon MacDonald MSP, who has repeatedly warned of the financial and logistical threats that Brexit poses to the future of cultural events like the Edinburgh Festivals, has said this omission could “inflict serious damage on Scotland's international reputation.”

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, told the Independent newspaper that “additional costs and bureaucracy could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back” and warned that the Brexit trade deal could mean audiences here "could miss out on seeing some of their favourite acts.”

Commenting, Gordon MacDonald MSP said, “Exiting the EU and ending the free movement of people poses a range of challenges for artists who want to travel and perform in the EU, and could inflict serious damage on our economy, society and international reputation.

“The decision to omit performers from the list of workers permitted to enter the EU without a visa is a real blow for European artists who want to come here, and UK artists who want to perform across Europe - and could also affect the ability of our world-leading festivals to attract international guests.

“We want Scotland to be open and welcoming towards those performers who want to come here and share their talents, and vice versa. Throwing up ridiculous barriers and putting the ability of artists to perform in Europe in jeopardy is yet another example of the damage that this Tory Brexit deal will inflict on Scotland.

"People in Scotland simply shouldn’t be forced to accept the Tories’ narrow-minded and isolationist approach towards our European friends and neighbours.

“It’s clearer than ever that the UK government cannot be trusted to act in our interests. The only way to regain the benefits of EU membership is for Scotland to become an independent country.”


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