The UK racing industry has been warned that it needs to start planning ahead of a possible no-deal Brexit scenario, likely to have a huge impact on the industry.
It was highlighted in a note sent on behalf of the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group that ‘the political situation regarding the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, currently scheduled for 31 October, remains unpredictable’.
The Group has advised industry participants to’ start drawing up plans on how a no-deal Brexit might affect them.’ The Steering Group has outlined a number of short-term focus areas, including: EU and European Economic Area workers ‘ rights in British racing and breeding, thoroughbred movement to and from the EU, including former Tripartite Agreement countries, transportation.
The Tripartite Treaty, which governs the free movement of racehorses between the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, will cease to exist if no agreement is reached by October 31. Back in 2017, under the terms of the law, racehorses were transported more than 26,000 times across boundaries, but a no-deal would challenge the arrangement.
Nonetheless, failure to reach a trade deal with the European Union would hit the industry hard, with obstacles to free movement set to affect the United Kingdom’s 1,500 race meetings.
It is predicted that the new racing calendar will produce £ 11.5 billion in bets for UK bookmakers, so it is safe to say that any obstacles to horse movement will have significant knock-on effects.
With a possible obstacle to cross-border movement of horses, competition in punter horse racing could decline due to smaller fields, resulting in smaller margins for bookmakers.
“In the coming weeks, further updates will be given as the situation develops and more information becomes available,” added the note.