WHAT BREXIT MEANS FOR YOU

While the world still reels from the UK’s ‘leave’ de­ci­sion, ques­tions abound around po­lit­i­cal and sports deals, film rights and Bri­tish unity

CityPress - - Front Page -

re­main’s loss be­cause, as a se­nior MP told The In­de­pen­dent, “our main striker often wasn’t on the pitch, and when he was, he failed to put the ball into the net”. This af­ter vot­ers in tra­di­tional Labour blue-col­lar strongholds went against the party in the ref­er­en­dum.

So in­stead of cap­i­tal­is­ing on the tur­moil among the Tories, key Labour lead­ers are try­ing to sup­press the re­volt against Cor­byn, who is highly pop­u­lar with the party rank and file.

Pranc­ing about are group­ings such as Nigel Farage’s UK In­de­pen­dence Party and the strug­gling far-right Bri­tish Na­tional Party, which have had life breathed into them by the iso­la­tion­ist sen­ti­ment.

The re­sult has left the main­stream of the Tories and Labour – par­tic­u­larly in Eng­land – wor­ried about how they could have been so out of touch with the feel­ings of their vot­ers, who elected them just a year ago.

Sport

The ma­jor sport­ing codes such as foot­ball, rugby and cricket have raised con­cerns about Brexit’s ef­fect on them. Ad­van­ta­geous work per­mits have al­lowed player traf­fic into Bri­tain, and Bri­tish play­ers into other parts of the con­ti­nent.

Hard­est hit will be English Pre­mier­ship clubs. Cur­rently, the rule that a player signed by an English Premier League (EPL) club must have earned a cer­tain num­ber of na­tional caps in the pre­vi­ous two years is waived for those from EU coun­tries who are re­garded by the local league as home-grown.

This could mean fu­ture sign­ings – for ex­am­ple, of play­ers such as Dim­itri Payet, who signed for West Ham be­fore he be­came a first-team reg­u­lar for France – would be in jeop­ardy.

It would also hit the de­vel­op­ment academies of English clubs, be­cause in­ter­na­tional foot­ball gov­ern­ing body Fifa’s rules strictly reg­u­late the sign­ing of play­ers younger than 18. EU mem­ber­ship has al­lowed EPL to use the home-grown rule to im­port tal­ented teenagers from Europe.

The world’s most com­pet­i­tive and wealth­i­est league would be much the poorer for it.

Film

The bustling Bri­tish film in­dus­try was also hold­ing its breath as the count­ing took place. This is be­cause of the vast amount of money that the EU ploughs into the de­vel­op­ment of cin­ema in mem­ber states, as well as sub­si­dies for economies in de­pressed parts of the EU. This in­cen­tive was con­ceived as a devel­op­men­tal tool and a way to off­set Hol­ly­wood’s in­va­sion of Euro­pean cul­ture.

Now the in­dus­try stands to lose mil­lions of pounds in sup­port and, in­dus­try play­ers say, com­pel pro­duc­tion houses to shoot movies where it makes bet­ter fi­nan­cial sense.

There was a big scare in the UK that the hit show Game of Thrones would be lost to North­ern Ire­land, where it is partly shot. With the with­drawal by Bri­tain of its con­tri­bu­tion to the EU purse – about 10% of the to­tal bud­get – aid to de­vel­op­ing na­tions will have to be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced. Trade agree­ments that the EU has ne­go­ti­ated with de­vel­op­ing na­tions and blocs will also have to be revisited and ne­go­ti­ated anew. It is still a long way, but the work to off­set the neg­a­tive con­se­quences will need to be­gin im­me­di­ately.

Africa

The en­try point for the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two con­ti­nents is the Africa-EU Part­ner­ship, which came into be­ing in 2007. It cov­ers a range of ar­eas, from eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment to cli­mate change to hu­man rights. This will also have to be revisited af­ter Brexit.

The like­li­hood now is that Bri­tain will want to strengthen its re­la­tion­ship with Com­mon­wealth coun­tries on the con­ti­nent, and use this body as the ac­cess point for its re­la­tion­ship with for­mer colonies.

South Africa

In its re­ac­tion, the pres­i­dency moved to re­as­sure South Africans that be­cause of the two-year lead, there would no im­me­di­ate im­pli­ca­tions for local ex­ports into the UK and that ex­ist­ing “rights and obli­ga­tions un­der the ex­ist­ing EU treaties will con­tinue to ap­ply dur­ing this pe­riod”.

It would use this pe­riod to ex­am­ine af­fected treaties and ex­plore op­tions. Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han agreed, say­ing there was a two-year pe­riod to as­cer­tain and act on changes that needed to be made to treaties. But the mar­kets thought other­wise, re­act­ing strongly to the re­sults. The im­me­di­ate ef­fect on South Africa is go­ing to re­sult from the un­cer­tainty of the next two years, which adds an un­nec­es­sary bur­den on our stut­ter­ing econ­omy.

Speak­ing to City Press on Fri­day af­ter­noon, Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner to SA Ju­dith Macgre­gor main­tained that the UK’s exit from the EU would not im­me­di­ately af­fect any trade agree­ments or move­ment be­tween the two coun­tries as “the process of our with­drawal from the EU will take place over a long time”.

“So, in the short ... and im­me­di­ate term, ef­fec­tively all that it means for trade agree­ments be­tween South Africa and the UK is that it will con­tinue. We have a very ac­tive trade and in­vest­ment agenda and, ob­vi­ously, we have just re­cently all signed the Euro­pean Part­ner­ship Agree­ment, so the po­si­tions un­der the ex­ist­ing treaty will con­tinue.”

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