A Message from the FSPA Regarding Brexit

  • Posted on Jun 29, 2016

The Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA) would like to reassure our members that the UK leaving the European Union (EU) does not affect our strategic aims and the way forward that we have agreed to take over the next few years.  

The FSPA Directors are meeting on the 5th July and Brexit will be on their agenda, to consider the impact and what actions are necessary in the months and years to come as the UK undergoes the formal separation process from the EU. FSPA MD Jane Montgomery will also be attending a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills stakeholder meeting in mid-July where further information should be available. If any member has anything they would like to feedback please contact [email protected]

The primary concern for businesses within the sports and play sectors at this stage will be that the sustained period of growth over the previous years that has made our sector the driving force of the wellbeing economy, can continue without too much disruption as the process of leaving the EU begins.   

Beyond the immediate concerns with stability, the FSPA will ensure that its members are kept up to date with all implications on regulation, and every other issue which may affect the operating conditions of any of our members.  

 The first thing to remember is that little is expected to change in the immediate future, therefore there will be a negotiating process of up to 2 years, during which the UK will remain part of the EU, and goods will continue to move free of customs clearance formalities or import duties.  What happens after the negotiation phase and the formal UK exit will depend on the terms of the negotiations between the UK and European Council, and there have been a lot of discussions and speculation about what free trade agreements might be possible.

During the outcome of the discussion, it is likely that goods will have to undergo some form of customs clearance process both when goods leave the UK and on arrival in the destination country, regardless of whether any import duty would be chargeable.  All of the free trade agreements currently in place with the EU do have this requirement, so it would be prudent to plan for the longer term for this.  With regard to documentation, this will also depend on the outcome and detail of the exit negotiations but is unlikely that it will be reduced in terms of quantity and complexity.  

In the meantime, it would be wise to communicate with your EU clients, to reassure them of your continuing commitment to them and calm any fears that they may have.    

The FSPA believes that we are still well positioned in the heart of the sports and play industries and we reaffirm our commitment to represent and promote expertise on behalf of UK sports and play businesses.  

Our Aims remain the same, to:

  • Represent 14 associations across the sports and play sectors
  • Provide approximately 500 member companies with a valuable and unique service
  • Act as the voice of the UK sports and play industries
  • Liaise with UK Government and the EU Commission on all legislative issues directly affecting association members
  • Promote expertise on behalf of UK sports and play businesses
  • Work in partnership with UK Government Partners, Governing Bodies and National Associations on behalf of member companies
  • Actively lobby government on matters affecting its associations as and before they arise in the UK
  • Remain at the forefront of strategic thinking in Whitehall and Brussels as members of both FESI and FEPI  

We will continue to work together with members to achieve these aims.