Strong leadership needed post-Brexit, says Build UK

Build UK has called for “strong decisive leadership” and a clear plan of action from the Government after the decision to leave the EU.

The construction industry body said: “Following the consistent support from the construction sector to remain in the EU, the referendum result was a surprise to many. This has been followed by substantial concerns over the effect on client confidence, the project pipeline, the flow of labour and a range of other issues.

“While there will inevitably be a period of uncertainty for construction, the decision to leave the EU has been taken and we have the option of focusing on the problems or seeking out the opportunities.”

Build UK plans to ensure that the industry is ready to engage with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Government by identifying and prioritising the key issues that directly concern its members.

Build UK said that collaboration across the sector is “vital to ensure that a strong collective voice on the key issues is presented” and that the industry sees the best outcomes.

It added: “The priority will be to deal with the short-term issue of stability and confidence in the market while we understand the process of withdrawing from EU membership. The Government must support market confidence by adopting a business as usual approach and providing reassurance that the public sector construction pipeline will remain on track.”

According to the CBI, calm and decisive leadership, a clear plan for the UK’s future outside the EU, and a framework for business and the Government to work together are businesses’ immediate priorities as the country begins the process of leaving the EU.

In a statement, CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said: “Business needs Government to put aside party politics and lead now. We do have a timetable for a new Prime Minister. Though this may feel fast in politics, in these circumstances, it’s painfully glacial. The markets and business decisions won’t wait eight weeks.

“Companies need to see a plan taking shape for a world outside the EU. The appointment of Oliver Robbins [to head the new EU Unit in the Cabinet Office] is welcome.

“But more than this, far more than this, we need the leadership candidates who may be Prime Minister to engage with business, as soon as possible. They need to inspire confidence, and speak directly to investors around the world, sending out a clear message that we’re still open for business.”

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