Brexit – What does it mean to the construction industry?

Brexit image

This Thursday sees the EU Referendum and the culmination of months of campaigns from both sides of the argument.

Many voters will base their decision on the impact that leaving or staying in the EU will have on the sector that they work in.

With this in mind, Purplex take a look at the main opinions regarding what Brexit would mean for the construction industry.

Arguments to leave the EU

Some (including Lord Bamford, the Chairman of the JCB), argue that a Brexit would not necessarily have a negative impact on trade. He argues that open trade networks are in everyone’s interest, and this undermines arguments that leaving the EU would make trade more difficult.

In terms of the construction industry, it could therefore be suggested that business won’t be negatively impacted, as upon leaving, certain EU rules would have to be agreed regardless – which could act as a safety net for open trade and labour flows.

Arguments for remaining as EU members

Unsurprisingly, much of the construction industry’s success is based on access to labour and flexible working hours, which also come hand in hand with EU membership.

Arguably, access to labour from European workers (both skilled and non-skilled roles) would decline if we were to leave the EU, which would also see a resultant drop in efficiency and profitability.

Equally important, if the UK were to leave the EU, there would an increase in uncertainty from investors. In terms of the construction industry, this could have a negative impact on finances and overall sector growth.

All will become clearer at the end of the week

Currently, the majority of construction workers are backing the UK remaining as EU members. Simultaneously however, overall polls suggest that votes are currently neck and neck.

It’s hard to know the effect of Remain or Brexit campaigns taking victory – only hindsight can tell us that. It is up to each individual to make their own mind up after carefully weighing both sides of the argument. Only after Thursday will we start seeing the effect of the referendum on the construction industry.

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