Elton John posts stinging attack as Lord Frost fails to turn up for music touring inquiry

Sir Elton John has posted an open statement on social media slamming the failure of British Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost and the UK government to appreciate or address the crisis the Brexit deal has caused music touring.

The rebuke came as Lord Frost snubbed the Parliamentary inquiry on the disastrous omission of the music and performing arts touring industry from the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement he negotiated.

In his lengthy statement, Elton John explained that he, David Furnish, Marshall Arts’ Craig Stanley and Liberal Democrat Lord Paul Strasberger had met with David Frost to explain just how damaging the new trade agreement was for touring artists. He was not, he explained, worried for himself, but for the thousands of young musicians who Frost and the UK Government have so badly let down.

As he said, ‘Put bluntly, we are currently in grave danger of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping holes in the government’s trade deal.’

He goes on, ‘This gravest of situations is about the damage to the next generation of musicians and emerging artists, whose careers will stall before they’ve even started due to this infuriating blame game,’ he said.

‘During our meeting, Lord Frost said trying to solve this issue is a long process. Unfortunately, our industry doesn’t have time. It is dying now.

‘The government has broken the promise they outlined in 2020 to protect musicians and other creative industries from the impact of Brexit on tours to Europe.’

Despite the Prime Minister’s statement that his government was working ‘flat out’ to find a solution, Frost’s absence from the committee meeting today, after weeks of avoiding its scrutiny, comes as a severe slap in the face to the entire arts industry.

Instead, as Elton John’s statement says, the government ‘defaults to blaming the EU rather than finding ways out of this mess.’

Sir Elton John’s full statement can be read here.

Header photo: David Frost (right) meets with Michel Barnier (left) during Brexit negotiations, July 2020. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street