Will there be a ‘Sporting Exception’ to Brexit?


Author: Richard Willis, Colin Kavanagh and Christopher O’Connor

Since its inception in 1957, the European Union (EU) has been based on four key principles: the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital.

The English Premier League has benefitted significantly from the free movement of workers with a huge host of Europe’s top names plying their trade in England. The UK Home Office and the English Football Association (FA) have been legally bound to comply with the free movement protections guaranteed by the EU. Irish footballers have played for clubs in the Premier League and Championship for decades.

Stricter Borders

Once Article 50 is invoked by the English parliament specific legislation restricting the inflow of workers from the EU to the UK will likely follow involving a stricter administration of work permits. English and Scottish Clubs may become disadvantaged by restrictions on the movement of EU players to the UK. Equally, such restrictions have the potential to benefit Irish football clubs by increasing their ability to hold on to promising young players.

Read the full briefing here.

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