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Musicians in the UK are still angry about the lack of a deal to help them avoid increased costs and red tape when touring Europe, after Brexit. A number of them have written an open letter to the British government lambasting its failure to reach an agreement with the EU on this point.

“British musicians, dancers, actors and their support staff have been shamefully failed by their government,” said the letter, signed by artists including Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Sting, Robert Plant, Beabadoobee, Hot Chip, Iron Maiden, Liam Gallagher, Radiohead and The 1975.

“The deal done with the EU has a gaping hole where the promised free movement for musicians should be: everyone on a European music tour will now need costly work permits and a mountain of paperwork for their equipment.”

The pressure had already been building on the government to go back to the negotiating table with the EU, and to offer musicians and their teams support in the meantime. There are positive moves on that front. According to the Financial Times, the UK’s culture secretary is ‘examining post-Brexit financial support for the music industry’ to offset the extra costs.

That includes setting up a working group to ‘find solutions’. It may be tempting to write that off as a way of kicking the criticism into the long grass, but we’re optimistic. The case has been repeatedly made for music’s value to the UK and to the EU as a business sector, both internally and for export purposes. Once the live business is up and running again, failing to reach a deal really would be harmful to both sides.

Image by Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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