Racehorses could get caught in customs and struggle to get in and out of the UK after Brexit, local MEP Alex Mayer warned whilst visiting Fakenham racecourse.
Currently, racehorses have frictionless access throughout European countries. However the tripartite agreement between France, Ireland and the UK that allowed freedom of movement for race horses pre-dates the formation of the European Union. However, it has subsequently been assimilated into the EU’s structures.
Post-Brexit, racehorses might have to get certification from a chamber of commerce that would cost hundreds of pounds and take a long time.
Horse racing is worth about £3.4 billion to the UK economy including indirect benefits, and the industry figures show a steady rise over the years.
The UK also currently has the top 5 fixtures globally for horse racing.
Alex Mayer MEP said: “The free movement of horses around Europe wasn’t considered when the EU referendum took place and it doesn’t look as if the Government has considered it either.
“Unless the government takes steps to protect the horse-racing industry and makes sure that an agreement with the European Union includes the tripartite agreement for horses, the industry here in Fakenham could take a real hit.”