The Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA) is calling on the next government to ensure that the sports and play sector’s voice is heard and to safeguard the industry as Brexit unfolds. The FSPA’s Managing Director, Jane Montgomery, has outlined the key factors the federation would like the new government to consider.
She said: “It’s vital that the voices of our sports and play businesses are heard. Despite being the largest trade body in Europe and representing some of the biggest brand names in sport, there is a danger that when the new government convenes, competing priorities could mean that our concerns get sidelined.
“UK sport would not be where it is today without the strength and success of our UK sports and play member companies – creating, designing, manufacturing and distributing quality products around the world.”
The FSPA is calling on the new government to:
recognise that UK sport would not be where it is today without the sports and play industry to underpin it
value the vital role that sport and play have in a happy, healthy and successful society
push sport, play and physical activity provision back up the political agenda
commit to policies which promote participation in sports and play
“There are some very specific measures that the new administration could adopt to support and promote UK sports and play,” says Jane. “But more broadly, we’re asking the government to prioritise stability and long-term vision for the economy. The next government must provide as much certainty as possible to support industry in making the investment decisions necessary for the UK’s future.
“The decision taken at the 2016 referendum to exit the EU will have far-reaching consequences for our sector. As the Brexit negotiations and associated legislation will dominate the next parliamentary cycle, it is critical that the sports and play sector’s voice is heard as the process unfolds.”
The Federation, which represents over 500 manufacturers and distributors of sports and play equipment, footwear and clothing, is urging the new government to:
Guarantee the right to remain for EU citizens working in the UK and by year-end confirm the new migration system that will enable companies to access the skills and people they need to deliver growth while addressing public concerns
Ensure interim transitional arrangements are agreed as soon as possible
Rule out a fall-back into World Trade Organisation rules
Work with business in joint Brexit taskforces on some of the more complex issues, including customs, standards, data regulation and intellectual property
“Government must continue to consult with the sector throughout this period,” adds Jane.
“They should work with us, our members and our wider range of stakeholders to ensure the industry’s interests are represented.”