As Euro 2016 gets into full swing and we enter the final week of campaigning ahead of the EU referendum, the question of the UK’s football leagues’ continued competitiveness in the event of an exit from the trading bloc has been answered by the official Remain and Leave campaigns.
The UK200Group – the UK’s leading membership association of quality-assured independent chartered accountancy and law firms – has published a report detailing the top 30 EU Referendum questions asked by SMEs and the respective answers of the official Remain and Leave campaigns.
Included in the report is the following question:
Currently, footballers from across Europe can live and work in the UK without procuring a visa. If Britain were to leave the EU, would it be more difficult for foreign players to sign for our clubs, and could that affect the £3.4 billion the Premier League alone adds to the UK economy?
The Remain campaign said, “The EU benefits sports fans in Britain by eliminating barriers and making it cheaper to travel to sporting events across Europe. Sports clubs in the UK are able to recruit the best talent from across Europe with no barriers thanks to free movement rules.
“It has recently been shown that Premier League clubs could struggle to maintain certain EU players if we left the EU, a risk that was underlined by Arsene Wenger. This is likely to impact the competitiveness of UK clubs.
“The EU’s Erasmus programme provides funding for projects to get young people into sport, and supports the inclusion of minorities and people with disabilities through participation in sport. Access to Erasmus could end if we left the EU.
“Britain can draw on best practice from across Europe through cooperation in EU sports bodies. EU sports bodies exist to tackle match-fixing, promote transparency and fair regulation, take action against doping and develop rules for the transfer of sports players that preserve integrity and prevent exploitation.”
The Leave campaign said, “The Premier League has more foreign players than competing leagues. EU free movement rules have damaged British football. As the FA has acknowledged, the recent restrictions that have been introduced on skilled immigration from non-EU countries are the direct consequence of the EU’s freedom of movement rules. After we Vote Leave, it would be easier for foreign players to sign for our clubs.”
The UK200Group compiled the questions in order to address a lack of clarity about how remaining or leaving the EU would affect the small business community. The questions put to Britain Stronger in Europe and Vote Leave were all sourced from the association’s members and their clients.
The UK200Group, which was established in 1986, represents a group of trusted, quality-assured business advisers – accountants and lawyers – who have over 150,000 SME clients in total. As such, the UK200Group acts as the voice for 1,500 charities, over 10% of all registered academies, more than 3,700 farms, 800 healthcare businesses and over 500 property and construction professionals.
A video of the media briefing that launched the report can be found here.
The UK200Group: http://www.uk200group.co.uk/
Campaign for Clarity 30 Questions and Answers report:http://www.uk200group.co.uk/web/FILES/EU_Questions_answers_v…
Britain Stronger in Europe: http://www.strongerin.co.uk/
Vote Leave: http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/