Government inquiry to examine freedom of movement and impact on sport
A special Government inquiry will meet for the first time tomorrow (7 February 2018) to hear evidence on the impact of Brexit on sport in the UK.
The EU Home Affairs Sub Committee inquiry was announced following research, including that undertaken by the BBC, showing that 332 current players in the English Premier League, the Championship and the Scottish Premier League would not meet the requirements to remain in the UK once we leave the EU.
Joel Leigh, a Partner at the law firm Howard Kennedy who acts for sports men and women, including professional footballers, said: “Sport contributes some £1.2bn to the UK economy and employs 1.2million people. It means a lot more to fans across the country."
“Looking at football alone, over 400 European players were registered to play in the Premier League last season. This was, in part, facilitated by exceptions to Fifa's Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, allowing international transfers of youth players within the EU, and has allowed previous generations of young talent to prosper. But if the same more stringent rules for non-EU migrants had applied to EU sport professionals, many of our current crop of Premiership stars would have been forced to ply their trade elsewhere.”
Leigh adds: “The Prime Minister has made it abundantly clear that restricting the free movement of people is a keystone to the second phase of EU negotiations. And whilst that might force clubs to invest more in home-grown talent, 332 current players would fail to meet the requirements for non-EU and EEA nationals and could be required to leave the country."
“Government should give this ‘110%’ as, politically speaking, this is a ‘must win game’ and ultimately, much like football itself, Brexit is entirely ‘a results business’."
If you have any questions about the Government inquiry, please contact Joel Leigh
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