Brexit…this is too big an issue not to talk about on the #TempleRecruitment blog. There’s been lots of talk about #Brexit; it’s all over the media and many of my clients and candidates have very strong views about whether we stay in the EU or exit following the referendum on Thursday 23rd June. If you’re not sure what it all means, this helpful article from the BBC explains some of the key points. I’ve always said that I’d never reveal any political views on my blog, so instead I want to focus on the impact of remaining in the EU or exiting will have on construction. So, here goes…

Red tape
Many contractors and businesses find the EU ‘red tape’ stifling. There are 5.4 million small businesses in the UK and companies within the construction sector make up a large proportion of this figure. So we’re stifled by EU regulations within construction, but only a small number of construction businesses trade with the EU. This is a view that I’ve heard a lot – my feeling is that whether we stay or go, the government need to negotiate new arrangements so that construction businesses are empowered to maximise growth.

Is it worth it?
A poll in Construction News recently found that some contractors were cancelling or delaying projects due to rising costs. Others cite that all the risk of construction projects are being pushed onto the contractor. These issues could make contractors selective about the projects they take on, which could impact economic growth in many areas, as construction projects, once complete, continue to boost the economy as they deliver vital public services including shops, offices, schools, hospitals etc. So, if the way contractors are operating due to increased costs is changing, I sincerely hope that any changes are only temporary.

I have touched on this already, however there are concerns that the £16bn invested in UK projects by the European Investment Bank would stop if we exited Europe. Just so that you know what this means, as an example, the Thames Tideway Tunnel received £700m of funding last week from the EIB – and they employ A LOT of construction staff. However, the pro exit camp would say that we could trade more with the US and China, therefore replacing the funding we would lose from European investment.

No matter what happens at the polling stations on 23rd June, I think I speak for everybody in the construction sector when I say that whatever happens, we cannot see a dip in productivity within construction due to undue caution being exercised until the referendum result is known. The sector is as buoyant as I have seen it in the last 8 years since the recession hit (well, it is for Temple Recruitment Specialists anyway), so I’d hate to see any political changes having a negative impact on hard working businesses and construction staff.

As always, let me know your thoughts.

Best wishes
Claire Griffin
Director
Temple Recruitment Specialists