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Brexit Raises Issues For Irish Industry

The British Government has indicated that the current customs arrangements between the UK and the European Union are likely to remain in place after Britain formally leaves the EU next March.

Brexit Raises Issues For Irish Industry

The British Government has indicated that the current customs arrangements between the UK and the European Union are likely to remain in place after Britain formally leaves the EU next March.

Senior figures in Irish racing and breeding have reacted positively due to no clear solution in sight as to how Britain can keep the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland open while closing its other EU borders.

Westminster officials have published its ‘backstop’ or ‘safety net’ proposal in the event of no agreed solution being found before the March deadline, that being to maintain the status quo on all of its borders until at least 2021.


This proposal may not be accepted by the EU but represents a significant softening of the UK stance and will give encouragement to thoroughbred buyers on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Shane O’Dwyer, CEO of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, told the Irish Field: “Britain’s racing and breeding industry realises it is very reliant on Ireland and France.

“To be fair the British have given us their full support and co-operation in putting together a ‘High Health Status’ document for horses which will replace the Tripartite Agreement between the three countries.”

If approved by the EU, it is envisaged that the HHS will facilitate the movement of elite horses – both thoroughbred and sport horse breeds – between EU countries and third countries, such as post-Brexit Britain.

“The HHS will be a good thing for the industry in my view. It will give us digital identification of horses and accountability from pillar-to-post,” O’Dwyer said.

Brian Kavanagh, Horse Racing Ireland CEO, welcomed the apparent shift in stance from the British but remains concerned over general political instability in London.

“The domestic British political landscape could cause the whole thing to derail between now and next March,” he said.

“In terms of things we can control, we are making progress but there are a whole host of things outside of our influence.

“We must continue to work with the British and French racing and breeding authorities. All of us are looking for a soft or minimum-impact Brexit.”

Racing And Sports




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