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Commonwealth Games: Brexit papers show their 'fears' say Lib Dems

October 5, 2019 12:36 PM
By Nick Machnik-Foster

Commonwealth Games: Brexit papers show their 'fears' say Lib Dems

For the first time the Commonwealth Games organisers deepest fears about the impact of Brexit have been laid bare thanks to Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats. All this comes to light as the clock ticks down the 31st October's Brexit deadline.

Previously we have seen what Birmingham City Council thinks but thanks to a Freedom of Information request to the organisers their true concerns have come into the open.

They state there is a risk that EU Exit outcomes negatively affect Games deliverables, by changes to Government policy, economic impacts across markets and industries. This could result in potential workforce attrition and cost inflation. They count this risk as the highest possible being 20 out of 20.

In another document, marked 'sensitive' from February the organisers in a meeting with the Police and other bodies state that 'Possible increases in crime and disorder that result in reprioritised staff to deliver 'BAU' services (e.g. civil disobedience requires more operational policing) resulting in less resource availability for Games activity.'

In another part of the documents they state that there is a risk that post EU Exit, public support for the games 'will diminish' as other priorities take precedence and Games messages are lost or fail to cut through as Brexit dominates media and social media. This could impact on Licencing, Sponsorship and Ticket Sales revenues.'

The organisers also fear a lack of workforce stating that suppliers that have traditionally relied upon small numbers of EU workforce to supplement their UK-based workforce for the 10 day period of the Games. If they are no longer permitted to employ EU workers without a visa and thus this could result in a shortage of resource and/or a delay to recruitment to fill these roles or inflate the market price. They also state that EU nationals might not want to stay in the UK post Brexit and state that there could be the difficulty of replacing "like for like" in areas that are very industry-specific.

A big risk, according to the organisers is Brexit may introduce adverse volatility to foreign exchange rates impacting several suppliers that are expected to invoice in foreign currency. This could result in a fluctuation in these costs. Our suppliers may face increased costs or supply chain challenges to the games.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat campaigner Nick Machnik-Foster said:

"It is utterly shocking that the government's headlong dash towards Brexit could impact on the Commonwealth Games. All the effort, money and hope invested in the games is at risk due to Brexit. These documents outline the organisers darkest fears and it's crept into everything.

"Everything from the costs spiralling, visas for the athletes, and the legacy are all threatened.

"We cannot underestimate this. It is the biggest sporting event since the Olympics and it could be derailed due to Boris and Brexit.

"The games are being treated as collateral damage in this Brexit nightmare."