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Elton John warns of “looming catastrophe” due to Brexit-based touring rules

The “gaping hole” in the UK’s trade deal harm future generations according to John

  • Tope Olufemi
  • 11 June 2021
Elton John warns of “looming catastrophe” due to Brexit-based touring rules

A “generation of talent” could be lost according to Elton John, as the UK fails to strike a deal with the EU on touring.

Visa-free travel and work permits valid across Europe have not been secured by the government. This means that many musicians will be locked out of touring in Europe due to the huge financial costs the lack of negotiation has created.

Read this next: UK ministers reject calls for Visa-free EU tours for musicians

David Furnish, CEO of Rocket Entertainment, Craig Stanley, Lord Paul Strasberger and Elton John met with Frost in an attempt to make him aware of the damages that this oversight could create for the UK’s music industry, already struggling under the weight of the pandemic.

A post from John on Instagram outlines what was discussed in the meeting. John hoped to “spell out the damage the trade agreement he negotiated with Europe is doing to the UK’s music industry”.

Read this next: Elton John: "The Brexit negotiators didn't care about musicians"

The meeting seemed to lead to a dead end, with John saying that “Despite this looming catastrophe, the government seems unable or unwilling to fix this gaping hole in their trade deal and defaults to blaming the EU rather than finding ways out of this mess,”.

John also noted that bigger artist such as himself are likely to suffer as a result of lack of protection the Brexit deal has created. He concluded with a damning statement about the future of the industry if the issue wasn’t rectified.

Read this next: Government criticised for lack of clarity on post-Brexit touring

“This is about whether one of the UK’s most successful industries, worth £111bn a year, is allowed to prosper and contribute hugely to both our cultural and economic wealth, or crash and burn.”

Oliver Dowden, Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, recently drew contempt from musicians by talking up more niche territories in Europe that will be easier to tour in post-Brexit, saying: "Delighted that our new trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein will allow musicians, performers and support crews to tour easily there."

You can read Elton John’s statement below.

Tope Olufemi is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow them on Twitter here

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