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Fish puts European touring plans on hold amid ‘no deal’ Brexit concerns

Fish
Fish (Image credit: Wilful Publicity)

Fish (opens in new tab) has revealed his concerns over a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit at the end of October.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on October 31, with new Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it will happen with or without a deal – with Fish reporting that exiting without a deal in place would “totally screw me up as well as a lot of other fellow touring musicians.”

The vocalist says: “Well here we go. I covered this a while back and now it's very real as Boris Johnson appears to be pushing the 'no deal' scenario. 

“This is going to totally screw me up as well as a lot of other fellow touring musicians. Just spent an hour inputting info to get an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number and need to get advice on the rest I need to sort out.

“This is a bureaucratic ‘mare and I have told my agent to put the entire European tour scheduled for next April/May on hold until we find out just how this will hit us and how we work our way through it all. I have to consult accountants and others to work out how I can handle this.”

Fish adds: “It affects me on so many levels including manufacturing the new album – deluxe books are manufactured in Poland. It may mean shifting production to Europe including the clothing merch which up until now has been manufactured in the UK by a firm who themselves will suffer as so many bands who use them will be in the same position regarding export/import duties.”

Fish points to an article on Raw Music TV (opens in new tab) which has a quote from the gov.uk website, which says: “If you bring goods into or take goods out of the UK in your baggage or a small motor vehicle, and you intend to use them for business, you must declare your goods and pay import duty and VAT before you move them across the border.”

The singer adds: “I’m not saying any more just now as I am still taking this in and am absolutely livid. This is a massive hit to the European touring industry and will kill off a lot of bands.

“And I am still waiting to discover more about the mail order postage issues after six months of discussion with Royal Mail and others who appear to have no idea what's happening.

"Electronic customs date stickers? Hand-written CN22 customs stickers? Constant returns of signed for delivered items and lack of response on claims that are logged as being in the system but now we have to 'prove' as being sent out.

"It's a fucking mess.”

In December last year musicians including Fish’s old band Marillion, Nick Mason, Enter Shikari, Chrissie Hynde and Public Service Broadcasting sent then Prime Minister Theresa May an open letter (opens in new tab) saying that leaving the customs union, the single market, VAT area and the regulatory framework could “devastate our global market leadership and damage our freedom to trade, tour and to promote our artists and our works.”

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.