More than 2,000 readers respond to survey asking for views on the best Brexit deal for construction

Over 2,000 readers have completed Building’s survey asking construction professionals what they want from a Brexit deal.

The survey, which closes at the end of today, is part of the Building a Better Brexit campaign launched at the start of the year to highlight the specific needs of construction prior to the government’s negotiations to leave the EU.

The results of the survey will be published in Building later this month and will also inform a review by Lord Andrew Stunell for the House of Lords into the implications of Brexit for construction.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling that prime minster Theresa May cannot invoke Article 50 to start the negotiations with the EU, both Houses of Parliament are now required to give consent. The government has now published the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill and the House of Commons two-day debate on the legislation started today.

MPs are expected to vote the bill through, although some in the Labour, Liberal Democrats and SNP ranks have said they would look to make amendments, which could lead to delays. Futher delays could occur in the House of Lords, where the government does not have a majority.

The Building a Better Brexit campaign has been praised by leading figures in the industry for helping to make construction’s voice heard at government level.

Jack Pringle, principal, managing director EMEA at Perkins+Will, said: “The construction industry needs to make its “Brexit issues” case to the government loud and clear. For this, we need data so Building’s Brexit survey is really helpful and really important.”

Simon Rawlinson, Arcadis head of strategic research and insight, said: “Now that we have a much clearer picture of the UK’s route towards Brexit, it is really important that the construction industry makes sure its voice heard over what kind of deal the industry needs to be able to contribute to the UK’s future competitiveness.

“Data counts, especially for an industry as diverse as construction, and Building’s survey will provide a valuable insight into the industry’s needs and priorities

Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said: “The campaign is important because there are serious issues with respect to labour and the trade in products and materials that may impact on the construction sector more than other industry sectors.”

Richard McCarthy, senior director strategic services at Capita, said: “Like it or loathe it - Brexit is happening! It is essential that the construction industry is both clear about its challenges and creative in its approaches to designing practical solutions. We need an offer as well as an ask.”

Melanie Leech, chief executive, British Property Federation, said: “For the construction industry in particular, access to global talent and construction site workers is critical for success. The latest official figures suggest that nearly 12% of the UK’s 2.1 million construction workers come from overseas, mainly from the EU. It is important we do not cut off that supply when the government is wanting to see a significant expansion in housing delivery and training up more people will take time.”

The survey takes just seven minutes to complete and can be found here.