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One-third of all British sports service exports purchased by EU organisations

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A third of all British sport service exports are purchased by organisations in the European Union – highlighting the importance of the common market to the sector amid the nation’s Brexit decision.

According to figures published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), British firms made £601m (US$785.5m, €708.3m) – 33.5 per cent – of export revenue as a result of transactions with partners in the trading bloc.

While this was outweighed by the £1.2bn (US$1.6bn, €1.4bn) exported to the rest of the world, deals made with EU businesses generated the most amount of income compared with other continental blocs, with £573m (US$748.7m, €675.3m) and £355 (US$463.9m, €418m) of services exported to Asia and the US respectively.

Transactions with organisations in the EU have been facilitated by the free movement policy, which includes the relaxation of tariffs on goods and services. While the status quo will remain as Britain attempts to divorce itself from the common market following the 23 June vote, what the landscape will look like thereafter remains a mystery.

While it has been mooted that the government will try to keep a free trade agreement, it remains to be seen whether the EU will accept any proposals which try to limit the bloc’s other core values, including free movement of labour.

The vast majority of Britain’s sport service imports also come from the European Union, with £638m (US$833.7m, €751.2m) – 86.3 per cent – purchased by UK-based organisations.

DCMS’s report revealed a huge amount of growth in the British sport services industry over the five year period from 2010, with the value of exports doubling from £900m (US$1.2bn, €1.1bn) in 2010 to £1.8bn (US$2.4bn, €2.1bn) in 2014 – representing a 90.9 per cent upsurge.

That figure, in turn, has helped towards a 44 per cent increase in sport’s contribution to the UK economy between 2010 and 2015. In 2010, sport generated £7bn (US$9.1bn, €8.2bn) in gross value added (GVA), compared to £10.1bn (US$13.2bn, €11.9bn) in 2015 – 0.6 per cent of the UK’s overall GVA.

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A third of all British sport service exports are purchased by organisations in the European Union – highlighting the importance of the common market to the sector amid the nation’s Brexit decision.
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Exporting sport service – such as coaching – netted the UK £1.8bn in revenue in 2014 / Microgen/Shutterstock.com
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