THE MP for Arfon has accused the UK government of cutting short the prospects of Welsh musicians by rejecting a deal with the EU to secure visa-free travel to the continent.

Hywel Williams said the UK government’s failure to negotiate a free work permit throughout the EU twenty-seven would severely inhibit Welsh performers, bands, artists, and touring professionals from developing career opportunities.

A petition calling on the UK government to grant touring professionals visa free travel to the EU has received 263,333 signatures, 404 of which are from Gwynedd.

The MP raised the issue during an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

"These new restrictions are a devastating blow to the Welsh music industry, which has already suffered disproportionally because of the pandemic and will further disincentivise young aspiring performers by making touring financially impossible for some," he said later.

"Musicians were assured by the UK government that they understood how important frictionless travel is for the performing arts industry. Musicians visit multiple countries on tour, often crossing borders daily, with very little notice.

"Placing costly barriers before touring performers could have a severe impact on established and up-and-coming musicians – as well as the wider UK music industry."