Brexit and Sport
The referendum decision to leave the EU was a landmark moment in the political history of the United Kingdom and the consequences of the decision to withdraw will have far reaching consequences for the sports and leisure sector.
We are working with DCMS, Sport and Recreation Alliance, Sport England, Loughborough University London's Institute for Sport Business and the Sport Industry Group to ensure the voice of sport is heard and understood in the negotiations with the EU on the terms of withdrawal and what replaces our current membership. This has also been priorities by the new Sports Business Council, chaired by Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch and Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore.
To achieve the best deal for the sector, the sector needs to come together and make a single case for access to the Single Market and the positive consequences of our membership. Following initial soundings and our first roundtable event in December 2016 we have been consulting throughout 2017 and into 2018 to gather further evidence to make the sport case. The Think Tank continues to invite evidence, views and opinions from stakeholders across the sport sector and beyond.
Article 50 and settlement options
Article 50 provides a two-year negotiating period with the departing Member State, but there is a general consensus that this will need to be extended for the UK's departure. Whilst Vote Leave have suggested a new settlement - including a UK-EU free trade deal - would be possible by May 2020, it is unlikely that two years will be long enough to work out the more complex trading accords and talks are likely to continue several years after officially leaving the EU. There are three broad options talked about:
The Norwegian Model
By staying in the looser European Economic Area, the UK would still have access to the EU's single market and participate in free movement of workers but without any say in how they evolve. The country would still contribute to the EU budget. As reported, banks prefer this model because it would preserve their access to EU customers. Negotiating its own free-trade agreement would limit most trade tariffs between the UK and the 27nation bloc. However it could take years to work out the extent of Britain's market access. For example, the EU's trade agreement with Canada took seven years to negotiate and still isn't ratified.
Trading with the EU under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules would avoid the hassle of setting up a complex new agreement and the country could set its own trade tariffs. However, the UK would have no favorable relationship with the EU or any other country.
Maintaining access to talent, UK production tax credits, and getting clarity around regulatory equivalence with the EU, are vital to resolving concerns about Brexit, says the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in its report.
The Committee's report examines the potential impact of changes to three key areas: the workforce, funding and the regulatory environment.
EU/EEA nationals wishing to immigrate or move temporarily to the UK to work in the fields of sport and culture (and vice versa) currently enjoy freedom of movement. But those from non-EU/EEA countries must be sponsored by a relevant governing body (for example, the Football Association) or obtain an endorsement that the applicant is a recognised or emerging leader in their field. BBC research has shown that without freedom of movement, 332 current players in the English Premier League, the Championship and the Scottish Premier League would not meet the requirements for non-EU/EEA nationals, while UK Music's 2016 Diversity Strategy found that 10% of the UK music industry workforce held an EU passport for a non-UK member state.
This inquiry will examine possible future arrangements for the movement of people between the UK and EU in the fields of sports and culture, and the impact that these arrangements could have. (Inquiry launched 31 January 2018).
Prime Minister David Cameron gave a statement in the House of Commons on the result of the EU referendum.
James Allen, Director of Policy, Governance and External Affairs at the Sport and Recreation Alliance, reflects on the three key points he raised in the House of Lords looking at the impact of Brexit on the sport and recreation sector.
After the Prime Minister announced her plans for what Britain might look like after Brexit, Leigh Thompson (Policy Manager at the Sport and Recreation Alliance) considers what this could mean for trade in sports goods and services.
Martha Kelna explores the possible consequences of post-Brexit Britain on staging major sporting events.
Daniel Schofield and Cristina Criddle warn how leaving the EU will affect sport in the UK.
Nic Couchman, Chairman of GlobalSportsJobs' legal partner Couchmans LLP, discusses the latest developments regarding Brexit and the potential impact on sport.