The R&A Chief Executive says that Brexit has had an impact on this year's tournament


Slumbers: Brexit Has Caused Significant Concern For Open

Brexit is the big talking point in politics right now and it is having an affect on almost every industry, including golf.

One huge aspect of the UK’s departure from the European Union is the Northern Ireland – Ireland border issue, and this year’s Open Championship takes place at Royal Portrush with the tournament visiting Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951.

The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29th March, although recent negotiations could see that date pushed back to the summer.

The R&A’s Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said that Brexit has caused struggles for the tournament, which takes place in July but needs months to build the infrastructure needed.

“Like every business, and I think about The Open as such, the lack of certainty about the rules, the law in which we are operating under post-March 29 has caused us significant concern,” Slumbers said.

“In hindsight, would I be wanting to do Portrush in the year that we would be potentially leaving the European Union without a deal? No.”

“The future of the border is the No. 1 concern. We have over 2,000 containers to get across the Irish Sea, and we start building on April 2,” Slumbers said.

“The problem is we don’t know whether to reschedule to bring all our containers in through Dublin, whether to move them through Belfast, or whether to ship them out of the UK now.”

“Someone said to me when I was out for the Latin American amateur championship ‘You must be looking forward to Portrush’ and I said well actually I’ll be quite pleased when it’s over.”

More concern for the tournament came earlier this month when airline Flybmi collapsed.

The carrier flew from a number of airports to Derry in Northern Ireland, some 30 miles from Portrush.

The tournament takes place from 18th-21st July, with Francesco Molinari the defending champion.

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