Photo: Trigger Cut | By Helen Pidd, The Guardian | A punk band from Germany say they were “humiliated” and “degraded” after being refused entry to the UK for their British tour due to “opaque and confusing” post-Brexit rule changes. Trigger Cut, a three-piece from Stuttgart, were due to play seven venues in the UK this week but say they were turned away by the UK Border Force at Calais on Thursday 6 April.

Tim Burgess, the frontman of The Charlatans, said the German band’s “nightmare” experience showed the damage Brexit was doing to touring musicians: “What happened to Trigger Cut is scary, as bands from the EU are facing confusing and complex rules that mean UK tour dates might just not be worth their while.”

Ian Smith, a longtime music agent who co-founded Carry On Touring and, which campaigns to help artists work in the EU and UK, said each month he heard of artists from the EU being refused entry because of post-Brexit requirements. “They are so bloody opaque and confusing,” he said.

Trigger Cut say their passports were confiscated and they were kept in a room for verification at Calais, before a Border Force officer asked them for a “certificate of sponsorship” (COS) from each venue they were due to play.

Ralph Schaarschmidt, Trigger Cut’s guitarist, wrote on Facebook: “Months of planning, 1,750km of driving to Calais and back to Stuttgart, van hire costs, paid for expensive customs declarations, ferry ticket – all for nothing. We are sitting in a deep dark hole emotionally right now, this is a nightmare … I think I’ve never felt so degrad[ed], sad and bad as I do today.”
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[Thanks to Alex Teitz for contributing this article!]

Photo: Trigger Cut (from Facebook)

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