Sir Elton John has said that musicians face “impending disaster” due to travel restrictions following Brexit in the European Union.
At the beginning of the year, new travel rules came into force that do not guarantee musicians in the EU to travel without a visa.
The Rocketman hitmaker, 74, announced that he met with Brexit Minister Lord Frost, husband David Furnish and Craig Stanley, an agent for Marshall Arts travel agency, last month to discuss the matter.
Honestly: Sir Elton John has said that musicians are facing an “impending disaster” because of the travel restrictions after Brexit in the European Union (picture last month).
His statement was read by Mr Stanley at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing on EU visa regulations for creative people.
Sir Elton’s statement said: “To be frank, we are currently at great risk of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping gaps in the government’s trade deal.
“New and emerging artists will not be able to tour Europe freely due to the prohibitive cost of visas, carnets and permits – an essential part of their education and development.
“Despite this looming disaster, however, the government does not seem able or willing to close this gaping hole in its trade deal and is not blaming the EU for finding ways out of this mess.”
Music icon: At the beginning of the year, new travel rules came into force that do not guarantee musicians in the EU a visa-free travel – with the music icon, 74, to speak (Photo 2020)
He added that his objections “do not concern the impact on me and artists who tour the arenas and stadiums”.
“We are fortunate to have the support staff, finances and infrastructure to overcome the red tape that Lord Frost’s no-deal created,” he said.
“The worst of the situation is about the damage done to the next generation of musicians and emerging artists whose careers stalled before they even started because of this annoying blame game.
“If I had faced the financial and logistical obstacles young musicians face early in my career, I would never have had the opportunity to lay the foundation of my career and I very much doubt I would be there today, where I am.”
Speech: His statement was read by Mr Stanley at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing on EU creative visa arrangements
Heartbreaking: Sir Elton’s statement reads: “To be frank, we are currently at great risk of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping holes in the government’s trade deal.”
At the start of the committee hearing on Thursday, Chairman Julian Knight criticized Lord Frost for failing to attend.
Mr Knight said he was “dismayed” by the move, adding that he had “raised an eyebrow or two” for blaming the G7 conference in Cornwall for the cancellation, an event he believed not “ unexpected “.
In a statement, he added: “Parliamentary scrutiny in front of special committees is vital in our democratic system and is especially important when we have a government with a majority of over 80.
“There will be even more focus when the government decides to appoint members of the House of Lords to the cabinet. The ministers in the Cabinet of the House of Commons have control over questions, urgent statements and departmental issues. You are responsible every day. It is unacceptable that lords should not be accountable when they hold high offices. ‘
Elton Honored: Elton received the prestigious Icon Award at the iHeartRadio Awards last month in honor of his decades in the music industry
In January, Sir Elton, along with fellow musicians like Roger Waters and Ed Sheeran, signed a letter criticizing the government’s Brexit deal for not providing for visa-free travel for musicians.
Last month, Minister of Culture Oliver Dowden said that artists can tour in at least 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union without the need for a visa or work permit.
He told the Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that he had been involved with every EU country on the issue since January.
However, Noel McClean, chairman of the Bectu entertainment union, told the committee that there are still “varying degrees of bureaucracy in these 17 member states”.
Mr Dowden’s comments “do not exactly match the expectation that you can do what you could before,” he added.
There have been calls from across the performing arts industry to reach an agreement on a cultural work permit between the government and the EU, with a petition on the subject garnering more than 280,000 signatures.
A government spokesman said, “We want musicians and other creative types to be able to tour overseas with ease.
“Short-term, temporary visits for paid performances by British musicians are possible in at least 17 EU countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, without a visa or work permit.
‘However, we are aware of the difficulties the sector is still facing. That is why we are working closely with each Member State to encourage them to take a more flexible approach in line with UK rules that allow creatives to tour here with ease. ‘
Promote: He added that he was trying to “promote young artists” because “they need exposure” and added that he had his “time in the sun”