C-Link

9 June 2016

How a Brexit may Affect the Construction Industry?

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The hot-button political issue at the moment is Britain’s status as a member of the European Union. The possibility of a Brexit is very real and it is important that all of us, including construction professionals, consider what might happen if Britain does leave the EU.

Current industry opinion seems to trend towards staying in the EU, with a recent survey by Investment firm Smith and Williamson, highlighting that 85% of construction and real estate companies support Britain’s EU membership.

In light of the political context that surrounds the matter however, the industry as a whole has not taken a definitive stance on the issue.

A recent study into the implications of a Brexit, by the Confederation of British Industry, suggested that Construction may not be hugely affected if Britain does leave the EU. Some would argue that a Brexit could actually cut the costs of bureaucracy and make it easier to supply construction services domestically. Those who work or benefit from procurement of Specialist goods and services from the continent however, would argue to the contrary.

What is clear is that there are many unknowns surrounding how any Brexit could affect trading relationships that British companies have with EU member states. This lack of certainty may also be contributing to the industry’s collective refusal to take a side and many companies that work on international projects are understandably concerned about this lack of clarity regarding Britain’s trade relationships with other countries if the UK does leave the EU.

Perhaps the matter most relevant to Construction is the impact Brexit may have on our workforce. With a known skills shortage in the industry and Brexit potentially leading to restrictions in the free movement of labour entering the UK from Europe, a reducing skills pool, may cause difficulties in terms of output with a skilled and diverse labour resource being a foundation to the success of the industry.

Regardless of whether or not Brexit does happen, C-Link will be here to support Specialists, and Construction Professionals alike.  Join our growing community of Specialists at www.c-link.com in order to reach more clients and grow your supply chain.

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Paul Heming