Construction sector seeks stability and opportunity after Brexit vote
The construction and renovation sector may be facing an uncertain future after the British electorate's vote to leave the EU caused political and economic turmoil.
Having soared amid expectations of a vote to remain in the EU, the pound plunged when the result from Sunderland was declared, giving the leave side an unexpectedly large win.
As more results came in, share prices plunged amid the growing realisation that the leave side were on course to win. The declaration of the result led to more uncertainty about the future as prime minister David Cameron announced his resignation. Following this, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland, having voted to stay, will now face a second independence referendum should the Holyrood parliament pass the proposal.
Construction sector leaders have said economic stabilisation is vital. Head of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Marie-Claude Hemming called for action to not only stabilise the country, but ensure that investment in infrastructure continues to boost economic growth.
He added: "CECA therefore calls on ministers to now to first stabilise government, then re-establish their commitment to the projects outlined in the National Infrastructure Plan, most notably HS2 and a third runway at Heathrow in order to maintain economic confidence following such a substantial change in the UK’s relationship with the European Union and the rest of the world."
UK chief executive officer of Arcadis Alan Brookes said the construction sector should not only seek to deal with potential problems raised by Brexit, but also the "opportunities" it may afford, suggesting that the housing and infrastructure sectors "may now be able to secure capacity at a lower cost".
The vote to leave was supported by most of rural England, smaller industrial towns and former mining areas, with small wins in Birmingham and Sheffield, while London and most other major cities voted to remain, as did Northern Ireland and every one of Scotland's 32 local government districts.