Commercial Roofing: Will Brexit happen?
British people are conservative and we tend to cover the downside before it happens. That’s why we take out insurance against risks which are statistically very unlikely to happen. We have a media which has worked out that we are far more interested in pessimism and despair than we are in optimism and progress.
So it is not surprising that the same media channels are full of reports of impending doom about Brexit. These include recent research from Gleeds that 66% of industry professionals are feeling the impact of Brexit uncertainty. Deloitte’s research suggest that 36% of foreign staff in the UK are considering leaving by 2022. For skilled staff it rises to 47%. We also read that 64% of construction materials, worth €5.7 billion which come from the EU, will be subject to viscous tariffs. And, based on 2015 figures, we will lose €7.8 billion of investment from the European Investment Bank. The Bank of England and the Treasury have both said that Brexit is the key reason for delays in construction industry projects.
But if you look hard enough you can find some optimistic news as well. Brexit may allow public procurement to stipulate the use of UK firms and manufacturers, and tariffs could freeze out cheap steel imports and save our steel industry. The new arrangement could cut red tape and reduce costs and the UK could negotiate its own bespoke trade deals. The construction materials we import from the EU are matched almost pound for pound by the materials we export to them and the savings from the EU budget could be used, in part at least, to replace any investment we lose.
And we haven’t even left yet! So the one thing we can be sure of is that we are set for at least another five months of uncertainty and probably for a few years longer than that.
Maguire Brothers are a commercial roofing contractor specialising in the re-roofing of existing buildings. We undertake all types of roofing including Pitched, Flat, Sheeting and industrial roofing. We also carry out external refurbishment work. We provide excellent service and high quality workmanship.