You are here

Last Friday, March 29, 2019, will not be remembered as a day that lives in infamy, since, on that day, Britain did not exit the European Union (EU). When the final divorce papers will be signed is not known, and no one can state with any exactness when the permanent split will occur.

For all the potential difficulties and problems that this unprecedented action will entail, one of the least important is the fate of rugby in Britain. The rupture will modify the four Home Country fifteens playing in the Six Nations Championship, and, there will be other economic ramifications to impact the two professional leagues, the Premiership (England) and the Guinness Pro 14, comprising clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, and South Africa.

Perhaps the Six Nations will witness the likelihood from modest changes of minor border delays. When the French XV arrive in London by Eurostar, the team will have to line up in the non-EU line. Probably, the same number of French fans would travel to Twickenham despite also no longer having same, easy EU country access.

The possible economic rugby impact might incur if the British pound suffers a substantial decline against the euro currency. The prediction is that the BREXIT move would witness a 1 or 2-percent decline in GDP of the UK. In addition, interest rates would rise as economic confidence in the UK would decline (NB. The infrastructure of London’s historic financial hegemony is already moving out of the UK to Amsterdam and Zurich).

Top professional players in Britain, citizens and non-citizens alike, could be induced to play in the French Top 14 and opt to be paid in the more lucrative euro.

In sum: if UK rugby organizations cannot recruit and retain players from the pool of the international upper echelon, the sport will undergo a decline.

And, after BEXIT, what would happen in Scotland declared its independence? Don’t ask.