Elton John Among Music Stars Hitting Out At Government Over Brexit Deal

Ash Percival
·Entertainment Editor, HuffPost UK
·2-min read

Sir Elton John is among more than 100 music stars who have hit out at the government for not including visa-free travel for musicians in their Brexit deal.

The likes of Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher, Joss Stone and The 1975 have co-signed an open letter along with Elton, saying performers have been “shamefully failed” by the new UK/EU travel rules.

In the letter, published by The Times, they claim there is a “gaping hole where the promised free movement for musicians should be”.

Sir Elton John is among more than 100 music stars who have hit out at the government  (Photo: Oleg Nikishin via Getty Images)
Sir Elton John is among more than 100 music stars who have hit out at the government (Photo: Oleg Nikishin via Getty Images)

The resulting costs for work permits and other red tape will make “many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians who are already struggling to keep their heads above water owing to the Covid ban on live music,” the signatories argue.

The letter adds: “This negotiating failure will tip many performers over the edge.”

It urges the Government to “do what it said it would do” and negotiate paperwork-free travel to Europe for British artists and their equipment.

The signatories are made up of more than 100 stars, from pop singers to classical composers, who also include prominent Brexiteer Roger Daltrey, Sting and Queen’s Brian May.

Ed Sheeran has also signed the letter (Photo: Jeff Spicer via Getty Images)
Ed Sheeran has also signed the letter (Photo: Jeff Spicer via Getty Images)

This week a minister said “the door is open” if the EU was willing to “consider the UK’s very sensible proposals” on visa arrangements for musicians.

Culture minister Caroline Dinenage said the EU rejected the UK’s plan, but said the Government is willing to discuss the situation again.

Ms Dinenage said a 90-day visa-free travel period for musicians was not offered by the EU, contrary to previous reports.

An online petition calling for a visa-free travel cultural work permit with the EU has so far attracted more than 263,000 signatures.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.