Lord Stunell, the ex-building regulations minister, is leading a high level review to secure the interests of the construction sector in the Brexit negotiations. He is inquiring what should be the Government’s negotiating brief for the construction industry. Through our links with FBE, Constructing Excellence was invited to contribute to his inquiry, and I met with him at the House of Lords on Tuesday to offer our views.
We spoke at length about the threat to the sector posed by restrictions on labour movement from Europe. Immigration control is high on the Government agenda so it will be seeing the 200,000 European workers in the construction as a target – and yet it aims for a rapid 30% growth in the sector to contribute to national economic prosperity. Ministers must be made alert to the fact that these aspirations are in stark conflict. We covered many other areas of risk, not least the threat to accessing innovation posed by starving the supply chain of European enrichment and the issue of procurement regulations in a previous blog.
Stunell is concerned that the UK’s Brexit negotiators have no visibility whatsoever of the risks and opportunities faced by construction. He will plead our industry’s case in the Lords but he calls upon us all to play a part in raising the needs of the construction sector up the political agenda. Constructing Excellence as a movement will engage enthusiastically where it can in this task, and we need to support the big industry lobby groups such as CBI and BuildUK, but we can also all individually contribute: It is time your MP heard from you on this subject!
Chair, Constructing Excellence Procurement theme group, and Programme Manager at TFL