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Touring visa plea for performers

By Press Association

European artists, entertainers and behind-the-scenes staff could face restrictions on their ability to come to the UK after Brexit unless special measures are introduced, peers have said.

A short-term "touring visa" should be considered for UK artists to perform on the continent and EU entertainers to come to Britain.

The peers warned that without "effective reciprocal arrangements" there could be "a significant loss to the audiences that enjoy seeing talent from across Europe performing in the UK".

Lord Jay of Ewelme, chairman of the Lords EU Committee's home affairs' sub-committee, said: "Individuals working in the UK cultural sector are highly mobile, and have thrived on collaboration with people from all over the world.

"The country benefits enormously from the sector's contribution to its economy and society, and it makes an important contribution to the UK's international image and influence.

"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."

Lord Jay continued: "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."

The peers suggested that existing paid engagement and permit-free festival arrangements could be extended to cover EU artists after Brexit.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May will tell farmers at today's Royal Welsh Show that Brexit will mean a farming sector "fit for the future".

Mrs May will set out the Government's plans for a post-Brexit farming policy at the event in Llanelwedd, Powys.

The EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidy system based on land farmed will be replaced by a system of public money for public goods, she will tell the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society and farming unions.

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