The 51-year-old musician - who is best known as the bassist for the 'Creep' group - has penned a first-person piece, in which he detailed some of the costs British musicians planning to tour from the UK to Europe face, after they were left out of the Brexit trade deal, meaning they may have to acquire a visa for every European country they wish to perform in, a policy which could lead to artists being unable to afford playing in the EU.
Colin wrote in The Guardian newspaper: “I spoke to several old friends who’ve had years of experience planning Radiohead tours. Adrian, our touring accountant, said it will be more clunky and expensive.
“Before Brexit, a carnet (a list of goods going in and out of the country) was just needed for Norway and Switzerland. Now it would be more like playing South America, where each country has its systems for dealing with “third countries” like us. Adrian said a £10,000 guitar would need a carnet that would cost about £650 plus VAT. The costs of travel and accommodation are already high, and the extra paperwork and expenses would rise quickly for a touring orchestra.”
Colin has urged the government to admit they have failed the creative industries and pleaded with them to fight so that British musicians aren't left deprived.
He added: “It is time for the UK government to admit it didn’t do enough for the creative industries during the Brexit negotiations and look to renegotiate on the provision for touring in Europe.
“My country’s music is great because it scorns borders and boundaries; it is a great patriotic source, a force of confidence, joy and shared passions. I am proud of my country and all the music it has exchanged with the world, and I am sure that pride is felt across all ages and cultures in the UK. It is the antithesis of the culturally pinched nationalism that is Brexit, and its diminishment would deprive us all.”
Sir Elton John has also called for a "short-term fix" to make it easier for British musicians to tour in Europe.
The 'Tiny Dancer' hitmaker branded the current situation "ridiculous" in the same paper over the weekend.
He wrote: "Either the Brexit negotiators didn’t care about musicians, or didn’t think about them, or weren’t sufficiently prepared.
"They screwed up. It’s ultimately down to the British government to sort it out: they need to go back and renegotiate.”
The music legend called for a "support organisation" to help young artists navigate the new difficulties, particularly now when the coronavirus pandemic has provided a "window of opportunity" to get something in place while live music is still on hold.
And the 73-year-old icon felt it's his own biggest critics who should support his campaign more than anyone else.
He wrote: "if you hate every note I’ve recorded, because your tastes are edgier, weirder and more exploratory – if you think that the Parisian hotdog thrower had a good point – you need to support musicians’ ability to tour.
"Because if Brexit prevents many new musicians from touring, the only artists who are going to have any meaningful kind of live career are big, august, mainstream artists like me. And, trust me, I don’t want that any more than you do."
The issue is due to be debated in parliament on Monday (08.02.21) after over 280,000 musicians and music fans signed a petition calling for new negotiations with the EU.