Brexit - contingency planning

With Brexit looming, we could be facing a very demanding time in the construction industry.

Clients are encouraged to play their role in engaging in open and frank discussions with the supply side, about the risks and potential mitigation measures that may be required to keep projects on track to meet business needs.

At the recent Construction Leadership Council (CLC) event ‘Brexit Contingency Planning’, presentations were given by:

  • Diana Montgomery (Construction Products Association) on the importance of the EU as an import and export market for the UK construction industry, and what disruption may occur in the supply chain for construction products in the event of a No Deal Brexit;

  • Peter Ward (Port of Tilbury) on the work being done to minimise disruption and ensure the continuing flow of goods into and out of the UK;

  • Ryan Diggory (BEIS), on changes to customs procedures and border controls that will apply, as well as the VAT implications for importers and traders;

  • Naomi Munro Lott and Damien Shannon (BEIS) on the implications of the Migration White Paper for the status of EU workers in the industry, and how firms can help ensure they are able to continue working here; and

  • David Hughes (MHCLG) on the future regulatory regime for construction products post-Brexit, in both the EU and UK.

The materials presented are available here.

The presentations were followed by a Q&A / Panel Discussion which agreed the following next steps:

  • The CLC will be convening a group to address how the industry can recruit, retain and support foreign nationals within the UK construction workforce, and engages with the consultations on the Government’s Future Skills Immigration White Paper.

  • The CLC will work with trade associations and other bodies to understand the impact of changes to the rules on the import and export of goods within the supply chain. In the interim the CLC will encourage all construction businesses to initiate conversations with their supply chains and clients to prepare for potential disruption.

  • The CLC will work with the construction products sector to promote and share guidance on potential changes to the rules on demonstrating compliance with product regulations following Brexit.

  • The CLC acknowledges the challenges that preparing for a no deal represents at a business and project level. We will communicate to government the cost and complexity of mitigation and the potential impact on the sustainability and productivity of the industry.

The HMRC Partnership Pack was also referenced as a useful source of guidance.

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