Vince, Strictly and Brexit

The clocks have gone back and it’s going to be dark by 5pm tonight. I hate Winter and darkness with a passion. I therefore reserve the right to post things that cheer me up. One of those things is Vince’s appearance on the Strictly Christmas special back in 2010. If you want to see his graceful and elegant Foxtrot, it’s in the BBC post linked to below.

There’s a serious reason to refer to it, though. This week, Vince suggested that Strictly dancers like Aljaz, Giovanni, Grazziano and Gorka, who come from EU countries, could be affected by Brexit.

He told The Telegraph:

Afterwards at a meeting at the European Commission, he urged Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator, to make emergency plans to give Britain time to hold a second referendum before the Brexit deadline of March 29 2019.

“As British society falls apart it could pose a risk to Strictly,” he said, “If we have a cack handed immigration policy like what we have for non-EU citizens all kinds of perverse decisions could be made.”

Millions of people watch Strictly so he’s right to try and attract their attention by suggesting that there could be a threat to some of their favourite dancers. While the Government gave a predictably sneering retort, Vince makes a serious point. As Christine Jardine pointed out in an article earlier this year, Brexit poses a massive threat to the creative industries.

UK Music has warned that touring and live events will be at risk because of the potential loss of technical talent from the EU. And all events will lose a valuable stream of talent from the EU. Talent which is its life blood.

But it’s not just the impact on culture. It will have an impact on the tourism it supports. Tourism is worth around £127 billion a year to the UK. That’s about 9 per cent of GDP. Across the UK, it supports approximately 3.1 million jobs. It incorporates about quarter of a million small and medium-sized enterprises. Its growth is on a par with the digital sector we hear so much about.

In Edinburgh alone, almost two million international visitors spend around £822m every year in addition to two million domestic visitors who spend £641m. So it’s clear if tourist numbers fall, many areas of Scotland, including my own in Edinburgh will suffer badly… and jobs in every area of the country will be under threat.

And while the link to the hospitality and tourist industry might be clear, there is an obvious impact too for tourist attractions. It will also reach far into other sectors of the economy, affecting jobs in fashion design, video games, television, theatre, furniture design and radio.

Vince’s comments were, by the way, his second intervention of the week on the subject of Strictly. He criticised the Judges’ decision to eliminate DJ Vick Hope – something I completely agree with.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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3 Comments

  • David Becket 28th Oct '18 - 1:47pm

    I remain unconvinced that Vince’s contribution has done anything to enhance the anti Brexit Campaign or The Lib Dems. This is another example of project fear and is the only Lib Dem story in the Observer today. At least it makes a change from publicity on internal reorganisation, another Vince project.
    We should be campaigning on the benefits of staying in the EU. project positive not project fear.

    I have started to list on my web site ( davidbecket.mycouncillor.org.uk) benefits of EU membership. We should all be doing this in every media available to us. Vince should be leading on this and other issues (UC for a start). He has produced some reasonable Press Releases, we need to push them.

  • John Marriott 28th Oct '18 - 9:55pm

    What I am about to say will probably only be appreciated by people of a certain age. Sir Vince reminds me of Victor Sylvester, whose catchphrase on his ‘Come Dancing’ TV shows of the 1950s and 1960s was “slow, slow, quick, quick, slow”.

    To counter the Brexit argument it’s not strict tempo we need but rather
    a bit of Rock and Roll!

  • With all due respect to “Strictly X-Factor Who” I’m a bit more concerned about the loss of Spanish nurses and Polish care workers …

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