Brexiteer musician accused of hypocrisy after demanding No 10 help bands with EU visa

Roger Daltrey on the stage ahead of Take That performance at the Teenage Cancer Trust Concert, Royal

Roger Daltrey on the stage ahead of Take That performance at the Teenage Cancer Trust Concert, Royal Albert Hall, London - Credit: PA

Roger Daltrey has been accused of being a hypocrite after signing a letter calling on No 10 to help British bands tour EU countries after having previously dismissed concerns about the impact of Brexit on the UK's music industry. 

Daltrey, the lead singer of the rock band the Who, famously downplayed the effect of Brexit on bands touring Europe, once asking "what's it got to do with the rock business?"

MORE: Brexiteer Roger Daltrey blames scientists for government confusion over coronavirus

MORE: Brexit’s chilling threat to the music and creative industries

Daltrey was among 100 music stars that have accused the government of “shamefully failing” the country’s performers with its EU trade deal. Other signatories included Sir Elton John and Sir Simon Rattle as well as other leading British performers.

In a letter published in The Times on Wednesday, they said the government’s “negotiating failure” threatened the future of cultural exchange with Europe and that new Brexit red tape would make "many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians who are already struggling to keep their heads above water owing to the Covid ban on live music".

This comes after culture minister Caroline Dinenage admitted the UK rejected an offer by the EU to extend the music visa scheme to pursue more stringent border policies.

Twitter users were quick to bring up Daltrey's past comments, which including telling a reporter that being an EU member was like being "ruled by a ****** mafia".

The LBC's James O'Brien quipped: "So Roger Daltrey got fooled again after all".

@GuitarmoogMusic posted: "Perhaps just a modicum of contrition would be nice from outspoken Brexiter Roger Daltrey who told those concerned about its effect on musicians that they were talking shit 'as if we didn’t tour Europe before the fucking EU' for getting it so wrong."

"Poor old Roger Daltrey singing 'won't get fooled again' for fifty years before getting totally mugged off by Brexit," joked one user called Dave.

Green politician Molly Cato wrote: "When Roger Daltrey supported Brexit he was voting with his generation and against the interests of younger generations. He may not have realized he was also voting against the interests of his own profession."

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