The Impact Of Brexit On The Construction Industry
The impacts of Brexit have already been affecting the construction industry for a long time – since the vote to leave in June 2016, and the triggering of Article 50 in March last year. But there’s still a long way to go until the UK actually leaves – March next year, followed by a transition period until the end of 2020. We mentioned it briefly in our previous Construction Industry Sector Update post, but what impact is this having on the industry?
There are lots of statistics out there, and it depends which ones you find. But here’s some of them from the last few months:
- According to a report commissioned by Sadiq Khan, construction will be one of the worst affected major industries after Brexit.
- RICS suggests a skills shortage, with 8% of the workforce currently EU migrants. This is debated by the Telegraph, who suggest this figure is actually 26%.
- An article on Construction Enquirer uses data from a PwC report to highlight how this worker percentage is much higher in the London area than the rest of the country.
- According to the Independent, some EU companies are already pulling parts of their businesses and staff out of the UK.
The main problem seems to be the uncertainty – which is probably set to continue as no-one knows what will happen after Brexit. However, this means these statistics could be proven wrong after Brexit – or might be over exaggerated. It’s a fairly gloomy looking picture at the moment, but that could just be the uncertainty clouding everything.
In fact, that same article from the Independent suggested that some companies who were having difficulties with EU suppliers are now looking for suppliers inside the UK. If some EU-based businesses reduce their UK contracts British companies might not feel the effects of less work as badly.
One certainty seems to be that there are large numbers of EU workers currently employed in the sector. However, Brexit shouldn’t affect this as migrants can apply for ‘settled status’ after Brexit, meaning they are free to stay. Therefore, this might mean there’s less of an impact on workforces, as EU workers won’t have to leave.
There’s no way of knowing what will happen to the construction industry after Brexit. There are too many variables, and without an idea of what the UK’s final deal will be, there’s no way of really knowing the impact of Brexit on the industry in the long term.
There are some good and bad points about Brexit for the construction sector – and a lot of things which could go either way. There’s no way of knowing whether the overall effect will be a positive or negative one. It’s really a case of time will tell how the changes affect the construction industry.
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