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Brexit gridlock could cripple construction, says NFB

Brexit gridlock could cripple construction, says NFB

31 March 2019 Email this article

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has warned that leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement could potentially cripple the construction industry.

It has suggested that leaving the EU without well-defined transitional arrangements will leave the construction industry worse off than the financial crisis of 2008, which saw the industry losing more than 250,000 skilled workers.

Issues highlighted by the trade body include the fact that the UK currently imports 90% of its timber from the EU, meaning that construction SMEs may have to pay VAT upfront before receiving the material in the event of a no-deal Brexit, something that could lead to cash flow issues and delays.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “With all the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process, the construction industry needs politicians to work together and provide a clear direction so that businesses can plan ahead at a time when the country is suffering from an acute skills shortage.”