We have sourced the opinion of government and industry experts to bring you their view on what a Brexit could mean for the UK construction industry.
David Cameron is warning that a vote to leave Europe will put billions of pounds of UK infrastructure investment at risk.
The Prime Minister saidthat an exit from the EU would terminate Britain’s membership of the European Investment Bank and “put the brakes” on crucial UK infrastructure projects.The bank has invested more than £16bn in UK projects over the past three years.Earlier this month the the EIB announced funding of £280m for the expansion of facilities at University College London and a £700m injection of finance for the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
A survey by Smith & Williamson recently found that only 15% of construction executives favoured a UK exit from the European Union. A massive vote of confidence in favour of remaining part of the EU. The chairman of the property and construction group at Smith & Williamson, Mark Webb echoed the thoughts of quite a few commentators from the construction sector, when noting the reasons for favouring the UK remaining within the EU.
Lord Bamford, the Chairman of JCB is a dissenting voice. He is convinced that a Brexit could cut the costs of bureaucracy so much so that any additional costs of leaving the EU would be easily covered. Bamford also rubbishes the ‘scare mongering’ of those who insist it would make trade far more difficult with other European nations, because he insists it is in everyone’s interests to trade openly and freely.
Britain’s departure from the EU would hit housebuilders’ workforces hard and exacerbate the housing crisis, the boss of the UK’s largest homebuilder has said.
David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “We would much prefer that the UK stays within the EU. We have a significant part of our labour force, particularly within the London market, coming from continental Europe – the free movement of labour in the European market is a positive from our point of view.”
Associations for estate and letting agents say average UK house would be worth £2,300 less in 2018 if Britain leaves the EU.
Rent bills are likely to fall if Britain exits the EU and property will become more affordable to first-time buyers, according to the bodies that represent the UK’s estate agents and landlords.
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) said that Brexit would cut levels of immigration and depress future price rises, leaving the average UK house worth £2,300 less in 2018, and £7,500 less in London.
If Britain votes to leave the EU it risks sparking a chronic construction skills deficit, compromising plans to build hundreds of thousands of new homes. According to new research, a Leave vote could lead to a cut in the construction workforce, which would in turn jeopardise plans to expand the UK’s housing stock that would otherwise ease the shortage in supply.
The Brexit report National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) said that “while the impact Brexit will have on migration policies is unconfirmed, imposing greater restrictions on foreign workers coming into the UK may compromise the UK’s ability to build homes”.