Blog: Londoner’s Diary: Brexit rules draining UK of musical talent warn artists – Evening Standard


elcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. Today opera singer Dame Sarah Connolly warns Brexit rules will adversely affect British arts abroad, James Bond screenwriter John Logan shares his fears for an Amazon-backed 007 movie and Bonnie Greer defends the legacy of the British Museum. Later in our SW1A, we hear historian Anthony Seldon’s ominous predictions for Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt fires a broadside at the Houses of Parliament.


A GROUP of musicians has warned the Government that artistic talent is already leaving the UK due to Brexit terms which make it difficult to tour in Europe.

Last week, a delegation met Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to help draft requests for rule changes such as visa waivers. Currently, musicians are only allowed to work 90 days out of every 180 in Europe. Haulage trucks carrying instruments have to return to the UK after every trip. Opera singer Dame Sarah Connolly told The Londoner: “The Government supported arts through the pandemic but needs to show support now. There isn’t enough work in the UK and we want to be a part of global excellence.”

Connolly said that she herself was faced with cancelling work due to Brexit. Musical schools are reportedly seeing fewer applications from European students who are unable to work when studying here.


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FORMER British Museum deputy chairman Bonnie Greer has defended its colonial legacy.

“People think the museum is built on loot which is absurd,” Greer said in a talk at Hay at the weekend, saying people have chosen “not to hear” positive steps made by the institution. The playwright and activist also expressed regret for meeting failed mayoral candidate Laurence Fox there last year, saying she did it as writing inspiration. “I have a lovely character for a new play,” she said.

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