4 October 2019 – today’s press release

Commonwealth Games organisers fears over Brexit impact revealed by Lib Dems

For the first time the Commonwealth Games organisers deepest fears about the impact of Brexit have been laid bare as a result of a Liberal Democrat investigation.

The Games’ organisers state that there is a risk that the UK’s EU Exit will negatively affect Games deliverables, by changes to Government policy, economic impacts across markets and industries. This could result in potential workforce attrition and cost inflation. They count this risk as the highest possible, 20 out of 20.

In another document, marked ‘sensitive’ from February, the organisers in a meeting with the Police and other bodies state that ‘Possible increases in crime and disorder that result in reprioritised staff to deliver ‘BAU’ services (e.g. civil disobedience requires more operational policing) resulting in less resource availability for Games activity.’

In addition, they state that there is a risk that post EU Exit, public support for the games ‘will diminish’ as other priorities take precedence and Games messages are lost or fail to cut through as Brexit dominates the media narrative. ‘This could impact on Licencing, Sponsorship and Ticket Sales revenues.’

The organisers also have fears over a potential lack of available workforce. They state that they use suppliers that have traditionally relied upon small numbers of EU workforce to supplement their UK-based workforce for the 10 day period of the Games. If they are no longer permitted to employ EU workers without a visa, this could result in a shortage of resources and/or a delay to recruitment to fill these roles or inflate the market price. They also state that EU nationals might not want to stay in the UK post Brexit and identify that there could be the difficulty of replacing “like for like” in areas that are very industry-specific.

A big risk, according to the organisers is that Brexit may introduce adverse volatility to foreign exchange rates impacting several suppliers that are expected to invoice in foreign currency. This could result in a fluctuation in these costs. Suppliers may face increased costs or supply chain challenges to in delivering the Games.

Commenting on the worrying findings, Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Secretary Layla Moran said:

It is utterly shocking that the government’s deadline day dash towards Brexit could impact on the Commonwealth Games. All the effort, money and hope invested in the games are at risk due to Brexit. These documents outline the organisers darkest fears and highlight the damaging impact of Brexit, and how it is infiltrating all areas of our society.

From spiralling costs, difficulty in securing visas for athletes, and a potentially depleted workforce, the Conservative government are putting events of cultural and economic significance at risk.

We cannot underestimate the seriousness of this. It is the biggest sporting event in the UK since the Olympics and it risks being derailed due to Boris Johnson’s inability to govern responsibly.

The Comonwealth Games should not be the collateral damage of the Brexit nightmare that Boris Johnson has unfortunately made our reality.

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  • New Office for Fair Funding called for in Ten Minute Rule Bill

    Plaid Cymru Treasury Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, presented a Bill in the House of Commons today, outlining a radical redesign of how the nations and regions of the UK are funded, through the establishment of an independent Office for Fair Funding.

    The Ten Minute Rule Bill, being presented by Mr Edwards, would establish the new expert-led, independent body to look at financing across the UK. The organisation would have a statutory obligation to deliver geographic wealth convergence, as well as deciding on funding settlements for the devolved nations and regions of the UK.

    Recent international data has shown that the largest difference in economic prosperity in Europe was between Inner London, the UK’s richest region (with a regional GDP average of 614% of the EU average), and West Wales and the Valleys, the UK’s poorest (with a regional GDP 68% of the EU average).

    Disputes between devolved government and Whitehall relating to how nations are regions were funded could also be resolved by the independent body, Mr Edwards suggested. For example, the dispute over HS2’s consequences for Welsh funding could be examined by the Office.

    When presenting the Bill in the House of Commons, Jonathan Edwards MP said:

    “For decades, British Governments – red and blue alike – have tinkered around the edges of a broken economic system without challenging its structural flaws.

    “Nine of the ten poorest regions in Northern Europe are located within the British State, as well as its richest by a country mile. These disgraceful geographical wealth inequalities are a record of shame.

    “That is why today I am introducing a bill to establish an independent advisory body to make recommendations on the equitable distribution of public expenditure across the British State: a new Office for Fair Funding with delivering geographic wealth convergence as its statutory aim.

    “Brexit is not an excuse to re-assert Westminster control over Wales. This bill would help create a level playing field between the nations of the British State.”


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