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Elton John is continuing his fight to help musicians in the U.K. after the British government failed to secure visa-free travel for artists touring Europe post-Brexit.
In a statement made to a Select Committee hearing in Parliament on Thursday, and posted to his Instagram, Elton said he believes the country is “currently in grave danger of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping holes in the government’s trade deal.”
He points out that new and emerging artists will be unable to tour Europe freely due to the financial and logistical burden. As things stand now, they will need separate visas for each of the 27 European Union countries, and separate $478 permits for instruments and equipment. Prior to Brexit, musicians could move freely between European Union countries during tours.
Elton accused the U.K. government of breaking the promise they made in 2020 to protect musicians and other creative industries from the impact of Brexit on touring in Europe, saying that “despite the looming catastrophe,” the government seems “unable or unwilling” to find a solution.
“I call on the government to sort this mess out or we risk losing future generations of world-beating talent,” Elton says. “This is about whether one of the U.K.’s most successful industries, worth [111 billion pounds] a year, is allowed to prosper and contribute hugely to both our cultural and economic wealth, or crash and burn.”
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