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Roger Daltrey branded ‘hypocrite’ for signing letter about Brexit’s effects on music industry

Jacob Stolworthy
·2-min read
 (Sky News)
(Sky News)

Roger Daltrey is being accused of hypocrisy for signing a letter complaining about Brexit’s effects on the music industry.

An old clip of the musician has resurfaced online in the wake of the letter. It shows him dismissing the suggestion that Brexit, which he previously supported, would have a negative impact on touring in Europe.

In March 2019, the Who frontman was asked by Sky News whether he believes Brexit would have a negative impact on the music industry.

He appeared to get frustrated in response, clapping back: “No, what’s it got to do with the rock business?”

When the journalist asked: “How are you going to tour in Europe?”, the musician snapped back: “As if we didn’t tour Europe before the f***ing EU. Oh, give it up!”

After walking off camera for a moment, Daltrey returned and said: “If you want to be signed up to be ruled by a f***ing mafia, you do it. Like being governed by Fifa.”

Two years on, he has now changed his tune after learning the UK has turned down a reciprocal EU offer to allow musicians to perform abroad without needing a visa.

Daltrey signed an open letter, published in The Times, alongside many high-profile musicians, including Sir Elton John, Liam Gallagher and Ed Sheeran.

They have stated that the move, which was first reported by The Independent, “shamefully fails” new acts who have said new Brexit bureaucracy will make it impossible for many of them to tour due to the necessity of work permits.

Roger Daltrey is one of many musicians railing against Brexit’s effects on music industryGetty Images
Roger Daltrey is one of many musicians railing against Brexit’s effects on music industryGetty Images

Upon noticing Daltrey’s signature, though, many were quick to point out his previous remarks.

“I’m old enough to remember when Roger Daltrey wholeheartedly supported Brexit and didn’t think it would have any impact whatsoever on the British music industry,” one person wrote, adding in reference to one of his songs: “Won’t get fooled again, eh Roger?”

Another person shared the old comments, adding: “This same Roger Daltry has signed a letter to the government complaining about the Brexit deal’s impact on musicians... but don’t forget, they knew what they were voting for!”

One person called him “a hypocrite of the highest order”.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden will meet music industry representatives on Wednesday to address their concerns.

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