Elton John ‘ashamed’ of UK for Brexit: ‘I’m not a stupid English idiot’

Lord Frost grilled on Elton John's criticism of EU talks

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Sir Elton John has voiced his anger recently as Brexit impacts musicians ability to tour in the EU. Since leaving the EU, musicians are no longer guaranteed visa-free travel in the bloc, and may face huge fees when they go on tour. Sir Elton said “it’s a nightmare” and “to young people just starting a career, it’s crucifying”. He added: “They are philistines. The Government are philistines. We’ve got used to governments – especially the British Government – just telling us lies every day, and I don’t feel OK with that. Look what they did with the NHS.

“After all that those people did during Covid, they give them a one percent increase. I find that extraordinary. I just can’t live with that. It makes me so angry.

“I’m 74 years of age and I just don’t get this unfairness and this ridiculous ability to lie through your teeth every f***ing minute of the day.”

The music icon best known for his songs including ‘I’m Still Standing’ and ‘Tiny Dancer’ was an opponent of Brexit long before his interview with The Observer in June.

In July 2018, he said: “I don’t think people in Britain were told the truth to start with.

“They were promised something that was completely ridiculous and wasn’t economically viable.”

He even brought his Europhile stance on stage with him in May 2019.

While performing on Wednesday in Verona on his world tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road, he said: “I’m ashamed of my country for what it has done. It’s torn people apart.

“I am sick to death of politicians, especially British politicians. I am sick to death of Brexit. I am a European. I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist English idiot.”

In the midst of the current row over musicians’ access to Europe, Sir Elton has called on Prime Minister Johnson to meet him.

However, the singer revealed that he is yet to hear back from Mr Johnson.

Speaking on the Rocket Hour show on Apple Music, he said: “What has happened is that it’s impossible for young artists financially to pay for visas, negotiate their way through all of the red tape that’s necessary for going to Europe.

“It’s financially impossible for them to do so. So I’m on the warpath to try and get this sorted out. And I’ve requested a meeting with Boris Johnson, I’ve yet to hear back from him.”

A Government spokesperson said on the issue of musicians touring in Europe: “We have spoken to every Member State and 19 have confirmed musicians and performers do not require visas or work permits for short term tours.

“The duration of visa and work permit free touring varies from Member State to Member State, and for many including France and Germany it is for up to 3 months.

“Travellers should check what requirements they need to fulfil with the EU Member State they are travelling to, and we are working with Member States to ensure they have in place clear guidance.”

Sir Elton has been forced to postpone his Yellow Brick Road UK tour until 2023 due to a “fall”, he announced last week.

This is the second time the tour has been delayed, with the original dates postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delay means people who bought tickets for the Liverpool dates of the Yellow Brick Road Farewell Tour back when it was announced in 2018, will have waited five years before seeing the star on stage.

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The 74-year-old announced the news via his official Instagram page, saying: “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I am forced to reschedule the 2021 dates of my Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in Europe and the UK to 2023.

“At the end of my summer break I fell awkwardly on a hard surface and have been in considerable pain and discomfort in my hip ever since.

“Despite intensive physio and specialist treatment, the pain has continued to get worse and is leading to increasing difficulties moving.”

He informed fans he is undergoing medical treatment, adding: “I have been advised to have an operation as soon as possible to get me back to full fitness and make sure there are no long-term complications.

“I will be undertaking a programme of intensive physiotherapy that will ensure a full recovery and a return to full mobility without pain.”

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