The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee has today written to Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, asking for clarification on the Government’s position in relation to the movement of people in the field of sport after Brexit.
The letter follows the Committee’s inquiry into ‘Brexit: freedom of movement in the fields of sport and culture’ and asks for elaboration on a number of points raised by witnesses.
The Committee asked the following questions:
- Has the Government made an analysis of the number of EU27 citizens working in the UK sports sector?
- Has the Government considered the effect of ending free movement on sports such as horseracing?
- Has the Government assessed whether extra Tier 5 or Tier 2 visas will need to be issued for EU27 sportspeople wishing to enter the UK post-Brexit, and if so, how many extra visas might be needed?
- How will non-elite EU27 sportspeople enter the UK after the end of the transition period? Will the Government introduce a preferential system for EU27 sportspeople, or will they fall under the rules that currently exist for non-EU sportspeople?
- How, if at all, will the Government protect what Angus Bujalski called the “business of sport” from any negative effects associated with ending free movement?
- Has the Government given any consideration to introducing a seasonal workers scheme for EU27 workers in the sports sector?
- Has the Government assessed how UK sports, from the elite to the grassroots level, would be affected should the UK no longer be able to make use of the Kolpak ruling?
- The Government’s current proposal is for an “association agreement” with the EU. Under the terms of an association agreement, would UK sportspeople be able to play in EU sports teams as “homegrown” players, post-Brexit? And could EU sportspeople continue to play in the UK as such?
- How, if at all, does the Government plan to ensure that sportspeople, other sports sector workers, and fans, are able to travel and work in the EU after the transition period?
- What will the Government offer to the EU in return?
“The sports industry in the UK is a huge market. Many of our leagues and teams are internationally renowned brands and make a significant contribution both to the UK’s reputation overseas and to the national balance sheet. However the impact of Brexit on sport is an area that has often been overlooked in the melee of other issues raised since the UK decided to leave the EU.
“The evidence we received suggests that for many sports, the impact of Brexit could be extremely significant. Ending free movement from the EU could present both challenges and opportunities, but it is clear that we need a proper analysis and a plan for how it is managed.
“We have written to the Minister today to ask her to explain how the Government will support the sports sector when free movement ends, and how it will ensure that sport in the UK does not suffer. We look forward to receiving her response.”