“Brexit will be felt in British motorsport”
These pages are no place for mainstream political debate. Whichever way you voted, and whichever beliefs you hold, we have a verdict and a way forward that we all have to pull together with. But, at the moment, it is a rather uncertain road.
Nobody can accurately predict what the next few weeks, months and years will bring should Britain go ahead and exit the European Union, either entirely or partially.
Regardless, the effects will be felt within Britain’s booming motorsport industry, whether they be positive or negative.
Britain is a major player in global motorsport. Think of your favourite current racing car – chances are that a part of it is British. From NASCAR to Indycar, Le Mans Prototypes to Formula E – British components, electrical and data systems, gearboxes and engines can be found around the globe.
It is a considerable part of our economy, and one of our prime exports.
As a rule of thumb, there will always be demand for motorsport. There will always be rich people somewhere, and there will always be a love for racing, in whatever form it takes. Currently seven of the 11 Formula 1 teams call these isles their home, as does the hundreds of fabrication, design and engineering companies that supply them.
But motorsport is a global business, and that goes for the production as well as the usage.
British engineers are among the best in the world, but our firms have not been scared to go out and find the best talent other countries have to offer, bring them to the UK and integrate them to help make British motorsport engineering definitively the best around.
Should Britain adopt a completely closed-off approach from the EU, that could stem the tide of talent from overseas, which could be potentially harmful should we not have enough of our own world-beaters in the pipeline to maintain the quality and service that has earned our reputation in this field.
Then there’s the gateway argument. Many firms see Britain as an ideal entry point into European trading. That’s why we have megabrands such as Nissan, Toyota and Honda producing cars here. Leave entirely, and so could they.
Recession and motorsport are not comfortable bedfellows, see 2008 for a prime example, but that case also proves the industry can survive tough times and thrive following them.
There are of course many possibilities that can be opened up with trade across the globe without the EU constraints, particularly with America and the Far East. There are systems such as additional business funding for home-grown companies and projects.
Chances are it will take some years to find out if Brexit truly is the right way forward, or whether it is a colossal misguidance. But chances are motorsport will endure and still be there at the end of it all.