On the last day before Parliament broke for the Summer recess, the new Secretary of State for Exiting the EU presented an important White Paper to the House of Commons. This document sets out the government’s intentions for the legislation they will need to pass on the withdrawal agreement that they negotiate with the European Union.
Having this debate right at the very end of the parliamentary term is far from ideal in terms of scrutiny, but I was able to ask Dominic Raab to look more closely at the needs of workers that tour the EU, such as musicians, those working in the creative industries, and sportspeople. I recently secured an agreement from the Minister for Culture and the Creative Industries that such workers would need a new type of visa in order to be able to travel smoothly for gigs and sporting fixtures across the EU.
Sadly there are very many problems with this White Paper. Not least the lack of an agreement to legislate on! I did not want to repeat what had already been said by others so I focussed on one example which will have an impact on the people in my constituency who work in the creative industries and other similar usually self employed roles which involve touring and other side travel across the EU.
The Secretary of State suggested this was an issue which should be considered as part of our future relationship with the EU. I have been clear that the government cannot kick this into the long grass, and they should give touring workers and those in the creative industries the security of knowing that the government are considering their needs at every stage in their thinking about the arrangements we will need to put in place after Brexit.