More than 100 British musicians, from Elton John to Ed Sheeran, Iron Maiden, and the Sex Pistols are saying that tours of Europe by British artists are in danger because of Brexit.
In an open letter published in Wednesday's (January 20) edition of The Times newspaper, the musicians say the UK government had broken a promise to negotiate visa-free travel for musicians to perform within the European Union.
The co-signed letter highlights what they call a ‘gapping hole’ in the deal reached with the EU last month. The music legends who also include Sting, Radiohead and Liam Gallagher say that future European tours will require a mountain of paperwork and costly work permits for everyone involved.
For some it may rule out touring altogether, they say, particularly for younger or up-and-coming musicians already struggling.
Roger Daltrey, lead singer of rock band The Who and an outspoken Brexiteer who had previously dismissed concerns about tours after Brexit, was also on the list.
Freedom of movement for British and European citizens ended on December 31st, but the artists have urged the government to negotiate a reciprocal deal allowing paperwork-free travel for touring artists.
The UK’s Culture minister blamed the EU for rejecting British proposals on behalf of creative artists.
The government has said it was prepared to further discuss the issue with the bloc.