The Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group has issued a warning to the local racing industry to boost its plans to offset the negative impact which a withdrawal without an agreement would have on the sector. This happens with less than a month to the planned exit of the UK from the EU.
According to the Group, the companies which operate in the industry that British and Irish racing would suffer a significant blow should the Government fail to reach an agreement with European Union leaders. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU is currently set to happen on October 31st. The political situation, however, remains turbulent and hardly predictable, as no clear decision has been made so far.
That is exactly why the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group has warned industry players to take into consideration strategies which will help them deal with the negative consequences which a no-deal Brexit would have on them. The Group even outlined several major focus areas in the note, including thoroughbred movement to and from the European Union, the rights and responsibilities of workers in the EU and European Economic Area in the British breeding and racing industry, new tariffs to sales, special transportation permits and requirements, data sharing practices between EU and UK regulatory bodies.
Free Movement of Horses and Jockeys Between the UK, France and Ireland Would Be Blocked
With a no-deal Brexit being a foreseeable outcome of the ongoing negotiations, the existing Tripartite Agreement would no longer be active after October 31st. Thanks to the agreement, under which the jockeys and racehorses’ free movement between the France, Ireland and the UK is carried out, industry racehorses were able to travel under no special regime across the three countries’ borders.
According to reports, under the terms of the legislation, in 2017, racehorses travelled across the countries’ borders more than 26,000 times. This possibility, however, would be put under question if a no-deal Brexit is announced.
If the parties fail to reach a trade agreement, a no-deal exodus from the EU would cause a significant blow to the sector that would undoubtedly have an impact on the 1,500 race meetings which are held across the UK. The estimated worth of bets made with the UK bookmakers in the current racing schedule is £11.5 billion. As mentioned above, a no-deal Brexit would instantly place barriers to the free movement of jockeys and horses, which, on the other hand, would have a massive negative effect on the entire sector.
Experts have provided estimates, according to which a no-deal withdrawal of the UK from the European Union would result not only in smaller fields at the time when UK meetings are held, but could also affect the overall interest in horse racing, which could eventually shrink the margins for local bookmakers.
Currently, the British racing industry is heavily dependent on the Irish horses’ importation and participation of Irish jockeys in UK meetings. Having that in mind, a no-deal Brexit would seriously hurt the industry and would cause a lot of trouble for the British horseracing sector.