Travel for Sport Post-Brexit

Following on from the European Athletics Championships last week in Berlin comes this letter from the Government on the free movement of those involved in sport after Brexit.

It was in answer to a letter from the Chair of the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, Lord Jay of Ewelme. It begins,

The Home Affairs Sub-Committee of the House of Lords EU Committee recently concluded an inquiry into Brexit: freedom of movement in the fields of sport and culture. The Committee will publish a report on freedom of movement in the field of culture; this letter refers to the evidence that we took on sport, and asks for elaboration of a number of points that witnesses raised.

The inquiry considered how the UK’s decision to end free movement from the EU might affect the two sectors. We received written evidence from a range of individuals and organisations, and held two oral evidence sessions.

He goes on to ask the following questions:

  • Has the Government made an analysis of the number of EU27 citizens working in the UK sports sector?
  • Has the Government considered the effect of ending free movement on sports such as horseracing?
  • Has the Government assessed whether extra Tier 5 or Tier 2 visas will need to be issued for EU27 sportspeople wishing to enter the UK post-Brexit, and if so, how many extra visas might be needed?
  • How will non-elite EU27 sportspeople enter the UK after the end of the transition period? Will the Government introduce a preferential system for EU27 sportspeople, or will they fall under the rules that currently exist for non-EU sportspeople?
  • How, if at all, will the Government protect what Angus Bujalski called the “business of sport” from any negative effects associated with ending free movement?
  • Has the Government given any consideration to introducing a seasonal workers scheme for EU27 workers in the sports sector?
  • Has the Government assessed how UK sports, from the elite to the grassroots level, would be affected should the UK no longer be able to make use of the Kolpak ruling?
  • The Government’s current proposal is for an “association agreement” with the EU. Under the terms of an association agreement, would UK sportspeople be able to play in EU sports teams as “homegrown” players, post-Brexit? And could EU sportspeople continue to play in the UK as such?
  • How, if at all, will the Government protect what Angus Bujalski called the “business of sport” from any negative effects associated with ending free movement?
  • Has the Government given any consideration to introducing a seasonal workers scheme for EU27 workers in the sports sector?
  • Has the Government assessed how UK sports, from the elite to the grassroots level, would be affected should the UK no longer be able to make use of the Kolpak ruling?
  • The Government’s current proposal is for an “association agreement” with the EU. Under the terms of an association agreement, would UK sportspeople be able to play in EU sports teams as “homegrown” players, post-Brexit? And could EU sportspeople continue to play in the UK as such?
  • How, if at all, does the Government plan to ensure that sportspeople, other sports sector workers, and fans, will be able to travel and work in the EU after the transition period?
  • What will the Government offer to the EU in return?

Tracey Crouch MP, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society, responded to each of his questions in turn. The full letter is worth a read, but here are some excerpts:

DCMS’s sector employment estimates show that employment in the sport sector was 581,000 in 2017 (1.8% of UK jobs).1 EU nationals in the sport sector accounted for 3.6% of all employed and self-employed jobs (21,000) in 2017.  As the Committee found in its oral evidence session with Mr Allen, Mr Baston and Mr Bukalski, EU citizens make significant contributions to sport in the UK, from sports professionals and coaches at the elite end through to operational roles that support the running of matches, stadiums and the physical activity and leisure sector.

 

We recognise the value of talented individuals and groups of sportspeople coming to the UK. In the White Paper, the government confirmed the importance it attaches to the mobility of talented individuals to support cultural and sporting cooperation in the chapter on the Cooperative Accord on culture and education.  The precise way in which the government will control the movement of EU nationals to Britain after we leave the EU is yet to be determined. We are carefully considering a range of options for the future immigration system and we will make decisions based on evidence and our engagement with stakeholders.

 

We recognise the important role that fans and tourists have in supporting the UK’s sport sector. In the White Paper, the government set out its intention to develop a framework for mobility, which will allow people to travel freely, without a visa, for tourism and temporary business activity.

 

Leaving the EU will mean an end to freedom of movement. As I have previously explained, we fully recognise the need for UK sports to access top global talent and conversely for British sportspeople to compete at the highest levels of international sport. In the White Paper, we set out our ambition to negotiate a Co-operative Accord on culture and education to support ongoing collaboration between the EU and the UK. The proposed Accord will be underpinned by our desire to agree a reciprocal framework for mobility.

 

The UK has proposed reciprocal visa-free travel arrangements to enable UK and EU citizens to continue to travel freely for tourism in the future, which will enable EU sports fans to continue to come to the UK to support our world-leading sports teams and major events, and vice versa. The UK has also been clear that we want these reciprocal mobility arrangements to be as streamlined as possible to ensure smooth passage for legitimate travel while strengthening the security of the UK’s borders.

Those working in sport and culture are greatly affected by Brexit. It is good to see the Committee asking detailed questions on the provisions for sportspeople. As a musician with many friends affected by future arrangements on free movement for working in the EU, I have read this discourse with interest. It is not only our economy but our well-being that is influenced by sport and culture.

* Kirsten Johnson is the PPC for North Devon and Day Editor of Lib Dem Voice.

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24 Comments

  • David Evershed 16th Aug '18 - 10:42am

    Prior to the UK joining the EEC I went on holiday to France and Spain and worked in Germany without any border problem other than showing my passport.

    However, at that time it did take some effort to acquire a visa to travel to the USA for a training course.

    In my view after we leave the EU we will just revert to how things were before we joined the EEC.

  • John Marriott 16th Aug '18 - 12:16pm

    Like David Evershed, I worked and studied in West Germany during the 1960s. For the former I needed a residence permit, which I obtained from the West German Embassy in London. So, like him, I reckon it would be status quo ante.

    Might I suggest that Ms Johnson concentrates on other matters more pertinent to her ‘constituency’ if she intends to make her mark there? We are in grave danger of doing Brexit to death!

  • Bless i don’t think you understand what “status quo” means. It means “the existing state of affairs, especially regarding social or political issues”. I needed a visa, but you don’t now hardly status quo is it, ah you say but i added an “ante” so what you are actually saying is “the previously existing state of affairs”. Which is extremely unlikely as times move on (even if you haven’t noticed). So As David mentions Germany shall we see what it is likely someone would need to do to work there.

    If you are interested in an employment visa for Germany, go to the nearest German Embassy or Consulate in order to:

    apply in person
    bring a valid passport and at least one copy thereof
    supply several passport photographs
    pay the required fee
    provide additional documents (e.g. a certificate of good conduct, a job contract, diplomas and references, etc.).

    Details regarding the visa application process may vary according to your country of origin. Please contact your local German Embassy to check the exact requirements.

    If you are already employed at the foreign branch office of a German company, this is likely to speed up things. Your employer can help you with the immigration process or provide you with a contract for an intra-company transfer. The latter often makes it a lot easier to obtain a work visa for Germany.

    http://germanculture.com.ua/german-facts/how-to-get-a-work-permit-for-germany/

    So much better than the present situation, i mean now you can just move in the future you can jump through hoops. So it may be a return to old controls (with a few more bells and whistles) but a step forward I rather think not.

    I think it is sad when people hark on about their youth and imply we can return to that. I know that was a big driver of Brexit among the older Brexiteers but you cannot turn back time. So harping on about your trip to Germany fifty odd years ago and how we can return to that era is just wrong and to be frank rather sad.

    ‘Time and tide wait for no man’ not even old Brexiteers.

  • John Marriott 16th Aug '18 - 2:17pm

    @Frankie
    If you were referring to me, please read carefully what I wrote. It reads “status quo ANTE”, which means roughly how things were BEFORE.

  • Kay Kirkham 16th Aug '18 - 4:16pm

    The questions are mainly about sport but hardly at all about culture and the arts. I invite you to consider how a classical orchestra of perhaps 100+ players and organisers from a multiplicity of nations will cope with the visa requirements. We have already lost the EU Youth Orchestra to Italy. Our musical life will be significantly emproverished.

  • Peter Watson 16th Aug '18 - 5:04pm

    @Kay Kirkham “The questions are mainly about sport but hardly at all about culture …”
    I doubt that is accidental. If Lib Dems were to emphasise the example of a classical orchestra, no matter how important that might be, it would simply play into the stereotype of Remainers and/or Lib Dems as a “liberal metropolitan elite”.

  • John,
    You obviously didn’t get past the first two sentences of my post did you, I think I answered your quote more than adequetely. You are falling into the “Everything will be fine we will just retreat to the past” or in Latin “Status quo ante”. Various politician’s over the years have tried the policy of retreating too the past, I believe the technical term is “reactionary” although personally I’d refer to them as “turn back time merchant’s” and we all know, you can’t turn back time.

  • Martin,
    I fear at least one of the first two commentators fails to read the comments as well. 😉

  • John Marriott 16th Aug '18 - 6:39pm

    @frankie
    You said; “i(sic) don’t think you understand what ‘status quo’ means”. Of course I understand what ‘status quo’ means. That’s why I wrote ‘status quo ante’. The point I was trying to make, which you fail to appreciate, is that, if Brexit does happen in the way many envisage, it is likely that the arrangements for those seeking to live, work or study in an EU country will be similar to those that existed pre 1972. That’s what ‘status quo ante’ means. To put it simply, life will continue to go on whatever deal or non deal emerges between now and the end of March next year.

    My original comment had more to do with agreeing with David Evershed’s comments than with the content of the article. So it could be argued that ‘Martin’ is missing the point as well. As for your ‘translation’ of that Latin phrase, you obviously were taught a form of Latin which is alien to me. If I were you, I’d stop digging!

  • Tony Harris 17th Aug '18 - 7:49am

    Having things return to ‘how they were’ will mean: losing standard roaming charges on your mobile phone (i.e. international roaming charges will apply in Europe); losing standardised air fares (i.e. travel to Europe will get more expensive); losing the single market (i.e. moving goods in and out of Europe will attract customs charges/tariffs. Say goodbye to the unlimited EU booze cruise and hello to one bottle of spirits, four bottles of wine and 200 cigs); losing standardised financial transaction charges (i.e. exchanging money will get more expensive as will bank charges); etc. etc. In summary, holidaying and doing business with/in the EU is about to get a lot more expensive and restrictive.

  • John Marriott 17th Aug '18 - 9:16am

    @Tony Harris
    ‘Que Sera Sera’.

  • Bless all the Brexiteers have left is back to the “good old days”. We will all be speaking Latin and becoming the “Poor man’s version of Boris de Piffle Johnson”.
    P. S John try reading the whole of my first comment, twill prevent you looking foolish, I did mention your ante bit, you failed to notice. Not really a surprise now is it.

  • Gordon Lishman 17th Aug '18 - 9:44am

    Peter Watson “a classical orchestra …. would simply play into the stereotype of Remainers and/or Lib Dems as a “liberal metropolitan elite”. Only amongst people who know nothing about who makes music and who listens to it!

  • Tony Harris 17th Aug ’18 – 7:49am:
    Having things return to ‘how they were’ will mean: losing standard roaming charges on your mobile phone (i.e. international roaming charges will apply in Europe)

    ‘Mobile phone roaming charges won’t go up after Brexit ‘ [February 2017]:
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/02/28/vodafone-boss-says-brexit-will-not-lead-hike-mobile-phone-roaming/

    Vittorio Colao, the chief executive of Vodafone, which operates networks in Germany, Spain and Italy as well as the UK, said claims that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union will lead to the reintroduction of large bills for calls and texts from abroad were “not very logical”.

    Speaking at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Mr Colao said: “We treat Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, as part of it so why would we not treat the UK that way?”

    ‘Vodafone scraps mobile roaming charges in 40 countries from June with Brexit-friendly deal – but existing customers must upgrade to qualify’ [April 2017]:
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-4408348/Vodafone-scraps-roaming-charges-40-countries.html

    Vodafone has extended its list of free-use regions to include non-EU holiday hotspots such as the Channel Islands, Switzerland and Turkey.
    […]
    Three Mobile offers a similar feature called Feel at Home which won’t charge you extra to use your mobile in 42 countries.

    So no need to worry; UK mobile phone users who don’t use their phones abroad can continue to subsidise the phone bills of wealthy businessmen and politicians who do.

  • Peter Watson 17th Aug '18 - 10:35am

    @Gordon Lishman “Only amongst people who know nothing about who makes music and who listens to it!”
    What evidence is there that those who make and listen to classical music don’t come mostly from a relatively narrow section of our society, perhaps even a relatively narrow section of society that coincides with Lib Dem membership given the apparent prevalence of white, middle-aged, middle-class, male graduate National Trust members from the south of England in the party (full disclosure: apart from living in the north west, I also tick those boxes!) (https://labourlist.org/2017/10/tim-bale-inside-labours-massive-membership-base/). That is more of a Radio 3 demographic than Radio 1 or 2.

    Every summer, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people flock to a range of music festivals across the UK, showing far more diversity than the audience for the Proms. Every week they flock to gigs and shows and sets, large and small. Often those festivals and tours involve huge numbers of fans, artists and stage crew travelling across Europe. And this happens even on a much smaller scale: recall the tragedy of young band Viola Beach in Sweden two years ago.

    If extending the scope of this article’s debate to culture in general and music in particular, don’t give your opponents ammunition by appearing to pander to Lib Dem stereotypes.

  • John Marriott 17th Aug '18 - 1:35pm

    @frankie
    As you requested, I have reread your first comment. It’s your idiosyncratic use of punctuation and syntax that has caused me confusion. As David Raw says, it might be an age thing (I assume that you are a bit younger than me). By the way, despite your assumption, I am certainly not a Brexiteer, rather an EU sceptic, who happens to know on which side his bread is buttered (better inside the tent etc).

    I would still draw you back to your first assertion, namely, that I don’t understand what ‘status quo’ means. As someone, who had to master grammar, syntax and pronunciation in order to gain an English O Level back in the 1950s, I have to say that I find your current stance gratuitously insulting. If you can’t see my point, it’s clear that any further interchange is pointless.

  • John Marriott 18th Aug '18 - 8:30am

    For ‘EU sceptic’ read ‘EU pragmatist’. It does help to reread your stuff.

  • No Peter it’s a dyslexic thing. My English teacher was amazed I got an O level in the 1980’s, my children would have fails miserably without support, with it they got A*, that is one reason I have no desire to return to the 1950’s. We look back with rose tinted glasses, yes the 1950’s where a good time to live, as where the 60’s and 70’s. Even into the 80’s and too date for a minority (mostly baby boomers life has been good), but even they have noticed things are going wrong and have reacted by crying “back to the past, to the golden age”. Now the reason why back to the past can’t work is simple, life improved because people’s standard of living was improving, year by year, decade by decade. Unfortunately from the early 80’s for many that process stopped and started to reverse. Ironically back to the past is actually occourring, people are getting poorer, live less stable, we are retreating to the age of Tinkerbell when it comes to working conditions (zero hours, foodbanks, the undeserving poor) and to many Reactionaries (Conservative they are not) it’s a jolly good thing.

  • Peter Martin 18th Aug '18 - 10:00am

    @ frankie,

    I’m not sure if your arithmetic, or knowledge of social history, is any better than your punctuation so I might just point out that anyone who was born in 1950 would be 68 and very much in the demographic which is most euro-sceptic.

    But they would have also been 20 in 1970 and in their teens in the 60s. We weren’t at all the “turn back time merchants” you suggest. We were the generation who fought against apartheid, racial discrimination, homophobic discrimination, the Vietnam War, abolition of criminality in abortion laws, and the death penalty.

    Pretty much all the socially accepted norms that we started to fight for have come about. Some more slowly than others. And yes we had a lot of fun while we were doing it. That’s one reason we wanted free contraception on the NHS 🙂

    So we aren’t a lot of old fuddy duddies who hark back to the age of Empire. You are at least a generation out on that one!

  • Peter,

    You laud the victories of your youth and yet you fail to mention the major defeat. What defeats I hear you cry,

    Your failure to leave the generations that came after you richer and more secure. Without that victory all the rest of your victories are likely to be transient. Look at poor countries and the state of their social norms, discrimination is rife, gay rights a joke and women’s rights minimal to none existent. Your failure (after all if you’ve claimed the victories you can’t disown the failure) has left a fertile ground for the extremists of every bent. They thrive on unrest and discontent and by failing to push forward the wealth of the nation that is what they have to work with.

    The fact you didn’t notice times where getting hard is I’m afraid rather a damming indictment of your view point. You lauded your victories, settled on your laurels and failed the see economically times where turning for the worst.

  • Martin Land 18th Aug '18 - 9:42pm

    I’m a Spurs supporter so there is not much of problem for us. We’re mostly English and we seem to have stopped buying players.

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