Brexit report: RICS response to 'Preparing for Brexit'

Abdul Choudhury

London Policy Officer (RICS)

RICS has been concerned for some time about the impact of Brexit on construction, particularly as positions harden.


The RICS Construction and Infrastructure market survey continues to illustrate the ongoing skills shortage, and the ‘Preparing for Brexit’ report released this morning underlines the potential wider impact on productivity and investment.

EU worker shortage

The ‘Preparing for Brexit’ report data also reiterates RICS’ warning that losing access to EU workers in the construction sector could make it harder to achieve infrastructure ambitions, also reducing firms capacity to hit Government housing targets amid the continuing housing shortage regularly illustrated in the RICS UK housing market survey.

It is easy to see how London would be disproportionately affected in terms of construction and skills, and both for the capital and beyond it is an absolute necessity that construction workers and built environment professionals, such as quantity surveyors, are added to the UK occupation shortage list.

Wider implications

Looking at the wider implications in the analysis released today, the impact on supply chains and the flow of construction materials and goods could confound this picture as around two-thirds of both export and imports of building materials are with the EU. Moreover, losing access to access to EU funding streams – including potentially the European Investment Bank (EIB) - and the dampening of demand from foreign investors due to uncertainty would be a further threat.

The UK Government must act promptly to keep EIB funding or introduce a new lender, or lending mechanism, to plug the gap created from the potential loss of EIB funds, particularly for shovel ready projects that are of great importance to the capital.

Comments (5)

  1. It is sad and disturbing to see the RICS weighing in behind the "remoaner" camp. The evolution of this particular democracy supports the democratic decision,whatever it is. Britain's continuing participation in the EU was debated and put to the democratic litmus test, in exactly the same way as countless elections and referendums before. it is now incumbent upon the "remoaners" to back this country. The wedge they continue to force into the vitals of this country is destructive and, moreover, naive and ill-informed in the extreme

    Ian Phipps Ian Phipps, 11 January at 14:18PM

  2. Hi Ian,

    Thank you for your comment, but I think you have misinterpreted our comments. Rest assured that RICS accepts the result of the referendum and, as per our public interest mandate and our objective of ensuring a sustainable and vibrant property sector, we will work hard to ensure a positive and successful outcome to Brexit. It is precisely for this reason that we provide government with feedback and our assessment on its direction of travel, ensuring that it understands what impacts its policies and positions have on our sector, based on the evidence we have available.


    Abdul Choudhury

    Jonathan Falkingham Jonathan Falkingham, 12 January at 16:23PM

  3. The article does come across as overly negative – it could have commented on say, incentives to invest in training and manufacturing rather than lack of access to EU workers or construction materials.

    David Moore David Moore, 15 January at 10:58AM

  4. There is an overwhelming sentiment amongst many Brexiteers that their decision making was based upon misleading political hype and rhetoric. Be that as it may the decision stands and as a democracy the process must be seen through to its optimum conclusion. As a profession we need to analyse and understand the implications and stark realities that may arise in order that we can prepare and adapt to the important changes that lie ahead.

    Mark Lucas Mark Lucas, 15 January at 11:57AM

  5. Thank you both for your comments. On skills, you may be interested in reading the work RICS did as part of the Brexit Leadership Group with ICE ( We highlight the point that domestic skills growth is the long term goal with access to EU and oversees workers being critical for short to mid term ambitions.

    As for comments on incentives to boost domestic skills, we have worked proactively with government on apprenticeships and t-levels ( which will be part of the long term solution to the skills challenge.

    Abdul Choudhury Abdul Choudhury, 16 January at 16:17PM

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