The EU & the fitness industry

A popular (often heated) topic of conversation in recent weeks has been that of the referendum “are you voting in or out” and begin argument. This subject has been analysed from so many different angles and some seriously influential people of the world have been giving their input. In the past few days, David Beckham has stepped forward to declare his first support for the RemaIN campaign. This led me to question what effect, if any, the referendum will have on the sports and fitness industry in the UK.

It is now acknowledged that  the arguments from both camps have become largely manipulated and often boil down nothing more than ‘what ifs’ and therefore I cannot put everything across as fact but I have done research and consulted the regulations themselves where possible.

One speculation which will no doubt affect the fitness industry is that of trade. Particularly immediately following an exit from the EU whilst negotiations for new trade channels are in process, it is expected that the cost of goods and taxes will increase – it’s not as if gym wear, trainers, equipment and supplements weren’t expensive enough already.

With the mention of supplements, it is worth noting that EU legislation such as the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation and Food Supplements Directive are implemented with the objective of ensuring that any claim made on food labelling or advertising is clear, accurate and based on scientific evidence. The EU market prohibits food bearing claims that could be misleading. Furthermore, the obligation to list ingredients and nutritional breakdown comes from the EU – extremely beneficial to those who take good care of their diet also.  On the other hand, it could be said that the obligations are too stringent and they hinder progress of the food and diet industry.

Delving into deeper depths of the sports and fitness industry, the right to free movement has a large role to play. When it comes to competitions at a national level, this right allows for athletes and competitors that hold European passports to travel freely with no requirement for a visa or permit thus providing and encouraging opportunity to all athletes regardless of financial standing.

The Premier League have come out to back the RemaIN campaign stating that being a part of the EU supports their principle of openness. Many sports clubs enjoy the freedom to explore alternative markets looking for untapped talent. The problem here is that it leaves little room  for domestic talent to come through particularly when faced with their cheaper, more experienced Eastern European counterparts.

For fear of boring you all to sleep, I will summarise in saying that there are clear pro’s and con’s to each side of the argument. An understanding of both sides of the argument is essential before making your vote. There is so much rubbish out there, make sure your research goes beyond the ever trustworthy sources of Facebook and Wikipedia. Question everything but most importantly make sure you vote.


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