TOP Scottish musician Iona Fyfe has joined forces with an SNP candidate to call for touring musicians to have visa free travel across Europe.

Fyfe, who is from Huntly in Aberdeenshire, said the UK Government is putting livelihoods at risk following its “narrow minded” decision to exclude professional musicians and performers from the list of workers permitted to enter the EU without a visa.

Aberdeenshire West SNP candidate and piper Fergus Mutch warned of the grave risk to Scotland’s standing throughout Europe, with Scottish musicians and artists acting as cultural ambassadors at events and music festivals across the continent - showcasing the best of what Scotland has to offer.

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Fyfe and Mutch have added their names to a petition launched by Tim Brennan which has already more than doubled the 100,000 signatures required to secure a House of Commons debate. The petition urges the Tory Government to negotiate a free cultural work permit allowing visa free travel throughout the 27 EU member states for touring musicians, bands and artists.

Fyfe, who was a former Scots Singer of the Year and BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist, said: “Visa costs and taxes on importing merchandise into Europe before a tour even begins will simply make it financially unviable to tour in Europe.

“Covid-19, plus the effects of Brexit, have been a double blow for the music industry.

“So many musicians rely on touring in Europe to sustain their income.

“It’s a great shame that this will no longer be feasible — not to mention the loss of the huge benefits in cultural exchange and sharing traditions.”

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Mutch hit out at the Tories' "shoddy Brexit deal."

He said: “The shoddy Brexit deal we’ve seen materialise in recent days is miles out of tune with the needs of Scotland’s musicians and artists.

“Performers in particular have suffered a massive blow this year with work, touring and income effectively on hold because of covid-19. Creating more barriers will truly devastate the sector.

“We should be opening doors for them to tour, to make a living and to showcase the depth of Scotland’s talent and creativity to the world. Sadly the Tories have failed yet again in recognising the value of music and the arts.

“The UK government must negotiate visa free travel for professional musicians as a matter of urgency. Failure to act would be nothing short of insular, shortsighted and spiteful.”

The petition can be found here.

The Scottish seafood industry has been another casualty of Brexit fishing and seafood firms complained on social media this week that the export arrangements are a “shambles”.

READ MORE: Scottish seafood industry still dealing with Tory Brexit chaos

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said it had been "a very challenging 72 hours".

Withers said these issues "sadly come as little surprise" but that there has been "a major collective effort" to overcome the problems.

“It has been a very challenging 72 hours with industry and the authorities adjusting new, complex trading rules without having had any time to properly test them. We have warned for months about the lack of preparation time for everyone involved and these problems sadly come as little surprise," he said.

“There are now a lot of bureaucratic steps to navigate in getting product from Scotland into France and small delays at different points can quickly cause major problems for a set of products whose value relies on getting to European markets within 24 hours."

Withers went on: “We have been working very closely with Food Standards Scotland, Scottish Government and partners across industry to work through delays at Larkhall.

"The prioritisation of simpler loads of single types of seafood, such as salmon, will be a big step forward. That will allow the focus to switch to more complex loads such as those that contain different products and batches from different businesses."

The Scottish Seafood Association, which represents processors, warned yesterday that problem is likely to get worse in the coming days as the pace of trade increases.