More than 100 British musicians, from rock and pop idols like Pink Floyd’s Ed Sheeran, Sting and Roger Waters, to classic stars like director Simon Rattle, have said that British artists’ European tours are in jeopardy due to Brexit .
In a letter published in Wednesday’s edition of The Times newspaper, the musicians said the government had broken a promise to negotiate visa-free travel for musicians in the European Union.
« The agreement made with the EU has a huge hole where the promised freedom of movement for musicians should be: everyone on a European music tour will now need expensive work permits and a mountain of paperwork for their team, » they wrote.
« The additional costs will make many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians who are already struggling to stay afloat due to the COVID ban on live music. »
Britain completed its journey outside the European Union on December 31. One of the consequences of Brexit is that British and European citizens no longer enjoy free movement in each other’s territories.
The musicians urged the government to negotiate a reciprocal agreement that would allow touring artists to travel without paperwork.
The stellar list of signers spanned nearly every style of music, from The Sex Pistols and Iron Maiden to acclaimed cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Radiohead, Elton John, Bob Geldof, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Liam Gallagher and Brian May and Queen’s Roger Taylor also signed.
Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Who and an outspoken Brexitist who had previously dismissed concerns about post-Brexit touring, was also on the list.
Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage blamed the EU, saying it rejected British proposals on behalf of creative artists. The government has said that it was willing to continue discussing the issue with the bloc.
The government has said that it was willing to continue discussing the issue with the bloc, which today includes 27 nations on the European continent.