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What might ‘Brexit’ mean for the UK sports sector?

An EU official hangs the Union Jack next to the European Union flag at the VIP entrance at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting EU leaders two days ahead of a crucial EU summit.  (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

With “Brexit” being the hot topic of the moment, Leigh Thompson, Policy Adviser, explains what an exit from Europe might mean for the UK sport sector.

David Cameron’s announcement just over a week ago that he had secured a new deal on Britain’s future membership of the European Union (EU) fired the starting gun on four months of intense campaigning ahead of the referendum on June 23rd.

While much of the ensuing media frenzy has focussed on the polarised views within the Conservative Party, the publication yesterday by the Government of a document setting out the process for the UK’s withdrawal (aka ‘Brexit’) from the EU may begin to focus minds a little more on what Brexit might actually mean for the UK in practical, as opposed to abstract, terms.

This is of more than passing importance to the sports sector given how much the UK’s membership of the EU influences the sports sector at every level from elite down to the grassroots.

I first blogged about the potential for Brexit before the Scottish referendum last year. While many of the broad issues I raised then remain relevant, in this blog I’ll try to sketch out some specific areas where the sports sector is likely to be impacted if the UK were to leave the EU.

But first we need to consider what Brexit might actually look like…

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