A brief look into the possible effects of Brexit on the realms of construction:
Following the government's recent 'no deal' analysis of Brexit, the implications of what might accompany it still remain unclear. Even more inconspicuous are the effects it will have on construction, an industry which currently contributes 7 per cent to GDP and employs several million individuals.
The analysis papers did however contain an oddment or two of relevance to those related to this industry, namely that a no-deal Brexit would mean that the free circulation of goods between the UK and EU would cease.
The government's analysis notes 10 separate steps to take before materials are brought into the UK from the EU including customs declarations, safety and security declarations as well as further inspections and the potential of having to pay a duty fee.
Whilst approximately two-thirds of construction materials are imported directly from the EU, such deal could result in an issue which is two-fold: a weaker pound may lead to the rising costs of imported materials and the UK also risks losing its tariff-free access to the single market as well as facing the imposition of duties and limits on quantities as well as price.
There is also the possibility of a shortage of workers which could lead to higher project costs where demand outstrips supply and UK construction workers insist on higher wages. The government have connoted that replacement schemes might be put in place by the government including a new visa system which may take time and involve complex procedures.
Conclusion: To conclude, whilst the analysis still does not
provide enough information on what the government proposes
regarding Brexit generally as well as specifically in relation to
construction, the government will need to undertake significant due
diligence bearing in mind the construction industry is prodigious
for economic growth and ensure the two are seen to be mutually
supportive and not diametrically opposed.
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