Elton John has come forward with a vow to support, help and defend emerging artists after a “disastrous” Brexit deal has made touring perilously difficult.
Following the decision for the UK the leave the European Union, the government failed – and refused – to negotiate fair and responsible visa-free travel permits for musicians and crew. To coincide with that, artists will also struggle to secure a wider European work permit to earn money for the live shows.
In response, a major petition was spread across the UK, prompting a parliamentary debate calling for musicians to access visa-free travel. However, the discussions ended in the government once again shifting all the blame towards the EU, refusing to accept responsibility for the chaos.
The failure of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal arrived after the government rejected the EU’s offer of visa-free short stays that allowed artists to work for 90-days in the area over 180 days and vice versa. However, Britain tried to minimise this period to just 30-days. The EU subsequently rejected this, which led to a stand-off with no resolution in sight,
Elton John, who has previously pleaded for a “short-term fix” for post-Brexit touring following the government’s failure, has again pushed for more action. Speaking alongside his husband, David Furnish, John joined an online meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michael Barnier, to push for a reasonable solution.
“Very happy to meet and discuss today with Elton John, who despite Brexit, is fighting for free movement and visa-free arrangements for artists,” Barnier posted on social media after the meeting. “Citizens, artists, students are the first to lose out from #Brexit. It didn’t have to be this way.”
In response, Elton John shared a tweet from Furnish, which reads: “David and I will continue to fight for all artists, especially those at the start of their career, who are losing out because of the gaping holes in the UK Government’s disastrous trade agreement with Europe.
“We need to act now to save the music industry and support future talent.”
See the statement, below.