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Brexit and Sport

The Referendum decision to leave the EU was a landmark moment in the political history of the United Kingdom. The consequences of the decision to withdraw will have far reaching consequences for the sector.

The Sports Think Tank invites evidence, views and opinion on the matter from stakeholders across the sport sector and beyond.

We are working with DCMS, the SRA, Sport England, Loughborough University Institute of 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.

We need the sector to come together and make the case for access to the Single Market and the positive consequences of our membership. We invite examples of impact and what we need to see the Government EU unit preparing their negotiations.

We are working with government through DCMS to gather the thoughts and issues on behalf of the sector. Following initial soundings and our first Roundtable in December 2016 we have been out consulting throughout 2017 to gather further evidence.

We need your input and advice. This is a project that aims to inform the debate and the ongoing negotiations.


PM Statement to Parliament (27th June 2016)

The Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons on Monday 27th June and launched the EU team in the Cabinet Office to oversee the complex negotiations for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Article 50

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. New Deal
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.

WTO Rules

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.


We held our first Roundtable in December 2010 with some key organisations across the sport from the private, public and NGBs sectors.

We were able to set out some key concerns and agreed lines on a number of issues and we created a position statement. We intended to hold these events more regularly but slow progress on the negotiations has meant that very little is still clear in the autumn of 2017.

We will aim to provide and curate positions on Brexit and a channel into DCMS who are leading on behalf of the sector inside UK Government.

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