POOLE Pirates promoter Matt Ford reckons British speedway is well placed to deal with the fallout of Brexit.

Pirates currently employ three of the 20 riders from European Union (EU) countries outside the UK in the Elite League with last week’s vote to leave posing questions over their long-term rights to ply their trade in Britain.

It is unclear yet as to how the decision will affect border controls for workers from EU countries, who currently benefit from free movement across all 28 member states.

But should fresh restrictions come in at a later date, the Wimborne Road chief insists the shale sport will benefit from the experience of past dealings with border chiefs, particularly over the issue of visas for Australian riders in January 2015.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “Our sport has been through the heartache of riders missing out on competing here due to work permit issues.

“Having worked so much with the relevant departments for employment and immigration, I believe we are all set up to get things right.

“There were one or two issues a couple of years ago where riders left the country without getting their work permits in place and then had to take a 12-month sabbatical before being allowed to come back.

“But now we know about those pitfalls and if it comes to it, we can make sure that doesn’t happen. I’m confident we will be okay.

“Up to 2004, we had to go through the process of gaining permission for European riders to represent our clubs, from Poland in particular.

“Back then, there were problems to overcome and we worked around it so should anything change as a result of the vote, we would simply have to adjust in the same way we always have.

“Clearly, there will be changes at some stage but I don’t believe they will happen for at least a couple of years.

“Even when we do sanction any exit, we would have two years from that point to start making things work. It will be some time before it affects speedway and how we bring emerging talent to Britain.

“This also affects British guys when they’re going abroad as well. Going out to Poland plays a big part in pushing the careers of young Brits on to the next level.

“It is important that they can get that track time out there but I don’t see this as a stumbling block for the sport at all. Everything is achievable.”

Meanwhile, Ford’s plans to cover the absence of five riders at Lakeside on Friday remain in limbo with two spaces still to fill.

Somerset rookie Bradley Wilson-Dean replaces Bjarne Pedersen, who has dropped to reserve as a result of the most recent averages.

Fellow Rebel and ex-Pirate Paul Starke comes in for Kyle Newman, while Poole will run rider replacement for Hans Andersen.

On his quest to replace Krzysztof Buczkowski and second-string Brady Kurtz, Ford added: “They will be Premier League riders but at this point, we’re unsure who they will be.

“Most of the top options are ruled out because generally, they double up with Elite League clubs.”