March 2017

Ireland win Camrose Trophy; England second

Ireland (pictured) have won the Camrose Trophy after stretching their advantage on the second weekend in Edinburgh. The England team were only the fourth highest scorers on the weekend, but did enough to comfortably hold on the second place position they held after the first weekend. Ireland finished on 142.92 VPs, with England on 129.83 and Wales in third on 112.11.

England were represented on the second weekend by: Frances Hinden & Graham Osborne; Jeffrey Allerton & Chris Jagger; Neil Rosen & Martin Jones; NPC: David Burn.

The team on the on the first weekend was: Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson; Tony Forrester & David Bakhshi; Mike Bell & David Gold; NPC: Martin Jones

Welcome to Nick Doe

We are pleased to welcome Nick Doe who has joined the staff this week. Nick has joined the Tournament Department, and will fill the role held by Peter Jordan when he retires in a few weeks' time.

In fact, we are welcoming Nick back - some of you may know him from his time working for the EBU around the turn of the millennium.

European Court considers VAT exemption for bridge

On 2nd March, at the European Courts of Justice in Luxembourg, judges considered the EU Directive under which sporting activities are exempt from VAT.

At present the majority of the governments of member nations of the EU exempt bridge activities from VAT under this directive. The UK government does not implement the directive in this way, and the EBU, with the co-operation of HMRC, brought the matter before the British Court. The British Courts referred the case to the EU Courts to seek clarification regarding the intention of their directive. Prominent MPs have given their support to the removal of VAT from entry fees to Mind Sport competitions - Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron calling it "a common sense approach".

The Court looked at the intention of the directive in broad terms, and once it has been established then this can be applied to the case of bridge specifically. A preliminary judgement will be made on 15th June.

Despite 'Brexit' the ruling is still significant: a 'positive' result would enable a refund to the EBU of VAT paid in recent years; it would establish the basis for the implementation of the directive in all EU member states, not just the UK.