The impending split from Brussels gives us a great incentive to focus on competing globally

While the extent of the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is uncertain, there is no doubting that our decision to sever ties with the EU has already had an effect on UK PLC. 

The cause for this is the fear of the unknown, with businesses seemingly adopting a ”wait and see” approach, bracing themselves for any hit to come. We can understand this caution but surely UK PLC can and indeed should be more proactive in the face of the “unknown”. 

The looming split from Brussels gives us a great incentive to focus on what we should already be doing – differentiating ourselves so that we are better positioned to continue to compete on a global scale, attracting interest, investment and skilled workers from overseas.

This is true for every sector but particularly so for development real estate and the construction sectors. The UK is renowned for its innovation and investment in research and development. For us to remain competitive on a global scale, we must ensure we build on this reputation.

This means that organisations in key sectors such as real estate and construction must now not only embrace but actively engage disruptive technologies and new ways of working, seeking out ways to do things better. This includes setting high benchmarks for productivity: delivering healthier buildings promoting wellbeing and by incorporating not only established sustainability frameworks like BREEAM, but new benchmarks like WELL Standard and Home Quality Mark into our plans.

Martin Gettings is head of sustainability at Canary Wharf Group

Martin Gettings will be speaking at the Building Live conference on Tuesday 28 November in the session “Commercial: the development landscape after the Brexit vote”. Book your place now at