'The day the music dies': no-deal Brexit set to force roadies off the road

PUBLISHED: 12:54 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:54 07 November 2018

Big festivals like Latitude could be hit by a lack of hauliers for bands Pic: Nick Butcher

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British hauliers are being forced to turn down European work with some of the biggest American bands due to the threat of a no-deal Brexit.

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The Sun reported that one haulage boss had said fears of a logjam at Dover meant he had to turn down a £250,000 contract for a 25-truck tour with a headline act next Spring.

Kevin Hopper, of Kent-based Brian Yeardley, said he had no idea if his roadies would be able to take the necessary equipment overnight from London to Paris.

He told the paper: “This whole thing is a ticking time bomb. I may have to lay off drivers because of this government. They’re incompetent.

“I was asked by an American contact to quote for a tour next May but I have no idea if we’ll be able to get from the O2 to Stade de France in a day.

“I had to tell them we don’t know what’s happening.”

Mr Hopper has warned next year’s summer festival schedule, including Glastonbury, could be hit as it becomes increasingly difficult for bands to come in and out of the UK at will.

Hauliers have already expressed anger that they could have to enter a lottery to get one of just 984 annual permits allowing them to drive in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. And most of the ‘ECMT’ permits earmarked for UK hauliers are likely to be set aside for essentials such as food rather than touring bands.

There are 86,000 lorries registered in the UK.

Richard Burnett of the Road Haulage Association accused Ministers of “shrugging their shoulders” and ignoring the plight of his members.

He said: “The end of March 2019 may well be the day music dies for British hauliers.”

Eloise Todd, boss of the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, said: "This seems to be the end of the road-ie for many hauliers with massive US bands. It is yet more evidence that people are being forced to make big business decisions due to the uncertainty of Brexit.

"I guess it is another bum note for hauliers and some of the biggest rock acts in the world."

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