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What does Brexit mean for horse racing?

Racing is one of the first extravangances to be cut back by the well heeled when the future looks murky
Excerpt from an article by Robin Oakley
For the Spectator

Caslon Quote Left BlackPerhaps the most surprising thing about Theresa May’s arrival at No. 10 is that it has given us back a prime minister who has owned a racehorse. Well, part of one anyway.

But what will Brexit mean for racing?

For a start, the 15 per cent drop in the value of the pound is going to make it more expensive to buy foreign bloodstock, although it has to be said that the first sales since the referendum result in France and Ireland have not shown any fall-off in buyers’ enthusiasm.

Many of the big owners, I guess, have pockets deep enough not to notice if they want something. Breeders, however, could suffer with the withdrawal of EU subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy for keeping land to permanent pasture. Apply, please, to Mrs Leadsom, now the agriculture minister . . .

Many trainers have been complaining about the lack of staff and would happily increase the immigration figures if they could with more work riders and grooms from the Indian subcontinent.

If a reduction in EU immigration after Brexit is achieved, then there would theoretically be scope for some relaxation in controls on immigration from non-EU sources. We will have to see how much the government focuses on reducing numbers as well as ‘taking back control’.

Much will depend on which system the new government uses to demonstrate that it has got the message from the electorate or if, for example, it finishes up like Norway in the halfway house of the European Economic Area. • Continue reading »

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