Blog: Bruce Dickinson hits back at critics of his Brexit touring stance – NME

Bruce Dickinson has hit back at his critics in a new interview after he was criticised over the summer for his position on Brexit.

The Iron Maiden frontman, who previously revealed that he voted for the UK to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, told Sky News back in June that the UK government needed to “get your act together” in regards to UK musicians being able to tour in Europe post-Brexit.

Dickinson’s comments were met with scrutiny and ridicule at the time, with Johnny Marr tweeting: “A musician supports Brexit then finds out that Brexit screws musicians and then complains. Well done mate.”

Speaking to Classic Rock, Dickinson has now defended his position on Brexit by saying that “it’s slightly disturbing that people cannot contemplate that other people have other views contrary to themselves”.

“It’s like a dog whistle: people start running around and jumping up in down in anger, and I think it’s out of all proportion,” he said.

“If you decide to do something reasonably radical in any walk of life, there are bound to be teething problems. If you suddenly change from Windows to a Mac, there will be things that really piss you off as you get adjusted to the new operating system. And someone might say, ‘Okay, in the long run, maybe being on a Mac will leave you better off, but in the meantime, how do we figure this out?’ That’s a perfectly reasonable position to take.”

Dickinson also claimed that people “are deliberately choosing to misunderstand the position I was taking” in the Sky News interview, adding: “It’s unfortunate that both sides are seeking to take political advantage. And there’s ultimately no point in that. Everybody has to get on.

Bruce Dickinson
Bruce Dickinson (Picture: Press)

“I have a German sister, I’ve a French partner who’s half-Italian who chooses to live in England because she thinks it’s great, and Brexit should make absolutely zero difference to those relationships. And it doesn’t. It’s only at the political level where they need to lock themselves in a room, and have no food or water until they figure this shit out.”

Denying that his complaints about the impact Brexit is having on live music and touring were hypocritical given his stance, the singer added: “The bizarre thing is that I’m less concerned with Iron Maiden’s position because we have the resources and the demand and we’re inputting a huge amount into the European economy playing to close to two million people next summer.

“It’s not us I’m concerned about, it’s the younger bands who don’t have the time to go through all the paperwork and all the nonsense and there should be a way of streamlining those things for all performers. Culturally, we’re all very close, and so I think it’s something that needs to be a work in progress.

“I think it’s people trying to score political points at a high level, disregarding the fact that people still live next door to one another and still want to visit each other. Yes, we will be economically different and yes, we will have a separate independent sovereign political leadership, which is what I voted for, but we still want to get along.”

In another recent interview, Dickinson spoke about his experience battling coronavirus after he previously urged his fans to get vaccinated.

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