Stable staff: the industry likely to be hit by new immigration policy
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
THE pound at one stage this morning plummeted to its lowest value since 1985 following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, while the London stock market has plunged more than 8%.
The FTSE 100 index fell more than 500 points to 5,808.72, with banks unsurprisingly hard hit, while David Cameron announced he will resign as prime minister.
Ladbrokes were as short as 1-10 last night for the verdict to be Remain – and the firm are one of many parts of the racing industry that are likely to be impacted on by the sensational, and surprising, decision.
But how will Brexit affect racing?
- Gibraltar – many of the gambling industry’s familiar names have a base in the territory, where it is feared the Brexit vote could have a serious impact on their business due to Spanish claims over sovereignty.
- The Brexit verdict could sweep aside state aid concerns that have scuppered previous attempts to reform the levy.
- The current levy replacement plans have been championed by prime minister David Cameron, chancellor George Osborne and cabinet minister Matt Hancock, with the first named already confirming his resignation while the other’s positions might be under threat.
- Access to stable staff – a new immigration policy may affect numbers of stable staff, already a significant issue in the sport.
- The breeding industry – breeders who benefit from payments under the European Common Agricultural Policy might lose that income.
Racing reacts to Brexit
Newmarket trainer Sir Mark Prescott revealed he voted Remain this morning and believes the verdict suggests it was “a protest vote”.
Prescott said: “I voted to remain as I couldn’t have Boris Johnson, who took three days to decide which camp he was in, and I wouldn’t follow Nigel Farage along a footpath.
“It seems a bit ridiculous to be throwing it all in the air for the sake of two percent. If it was 60-40 fair enough but this was a protest vote, pure and simple.”
Trainer George Baker wrote on his blog: “The Stock Market in turmoil. The pound in freefall. I vividly recall sitting on the Tube at about this hour (5.45) on mornings of financial chaos. The floor of the Stock Market provided a forum for discussion. The faceless computer trading of today less easy to guide or predict…..
“I fervently hope, as we all must, that this decision is the right one for our country in the long term. For our children. And their country. And their lives…”
Hugo Palmer (@hugopalmeracing) used a football analogy when tweeting following the historic news: “The frustating point that everyone missing is that this vote doesn’t mean we are ‘out’. It means the very long process of getting out now begins.
“It’s not as simple as cancelling your season ticket because you think the team sucks!”
In a rather more jovial mood, Jamie Osborne (@osbornejamie) tweeted fellow trainer Richard Fahey: “Hey @Richard Fahey – go and get a visa. #europeansout”
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