Classic Rock News

Elton John slams U.K. government for inaction on post-Brexit touring: “I don’t care who I offend”

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Rocket Entertainment/Ben Gibson

Elton John isn’t afraid to speak his mind when it comes to something he’s passionate about.  The latest target of his scorn is the U.K. government, which he feels hasn’t done enough to support the live entertainment industry post-Brexit.

Elton’s complaint has to do with the fact that since the U.K. has left the E.U., artists and crews can no longer move easily from country to country in Europe without filling out paperwork, applying for visas and paying fees, — and he feels he government hasn’t done anything to remedy this.

“I’m so angry. I’m livid about what the government did when Brexit happened. They made no provision for the entertainment business, and not just for musicians, actors and film directors, but for the crews, the dancers, the people who earn a living by going to Europe,” Elton told The Guardian newspaper’s Observer.

“People like me can afford to go to Europe because we can get people to fill in the forms and get visas done, but what makes me crazy is that the entertainment business brings in £111 billion pounds a year to this country and we were just tossed away,” Elton rages. “‘Oh well, the arts: they don’t matter.’ To young people just starting a career, it’s crucifying.”

Elton, who issued a statement that was read during a government hearing on this topic, also called the government “philistines” who “[tell] us lies every day.”

“I know I’m lucky that the issues with touring now don’t affect me one iota because I can afford it, but that doesn’t matter — it affects 99% of everyone else,” he rants. “It drives me crazy, so I’m on a mission and I don’t care who I offend. I really don’t! That doesn’t matter to me now.”

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