Sport in Scotland after Brexit (employment and funding)

Last updated: 20 December 2019

The UK will leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. We'll then enter a 'transition period' that's likely to last until the end of December 2020. During this period the UK will still follow EU rules.

Brexit will have an effect on some areas of life in Scotland.

This may include changes to the way sport is run in Scotland, from professional sports to 'grassroots' and volunteering.

Brexit has not happened yet, and many of the details are not yet known. This page gives the latest facts, but it will be updated as more details are confirmed. Please keep checking back for new information.


If the terms of Brexit include changes to freedom of movement, this may affect the way Scottish sporting organisations give jobs to:

  • professional playing staff
  • coaches
  • specialised positions

At the moment, freedom of movement means that sporting organisations can give professional contracts to EU citizens without needing a work permit.

After Brexit, EU citizens may need to have a work permit to join sports organisations in the UK.

The UK Government website has more information on UK working visas.


Sports clubs and organisations, including sports research institutions, may lose out on European funding, like Erasmus+.

However, only a small part of sports funding in the UK comes from Europe, meaning the impact will not be large.

The Erasmus+ website gives more information on funding in the UK after Brexit.


Once the Brexit transition period is over, there will be changes to travel to and from EU countries.

This could affect travel to the EU for:

  • sporting teams and individuals
  • supporters
  • volunteers

The 'Transport after Brexit' page gives more information on this.

Horse racing and other equestrian sports

Brexit may also have an effect on the movement of horses in and out of EU countries.

This could have an impact on:

  • horse racing in Scotland
  • the wider performance sector
  • horse owners in general

The UK Government site has information on the rules on exporting horses, ponies and other equines, including what to do if there's a 'no deal' situation.

The content on this site is correct as of today's date and is based on the information available at this time. Regular updates will be made as the Brexit process develops. In the event of a 'no deal', additional advice and information will be given on this site. Please continue to check back for updates.