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All the latest news about Brexit for our industry and professionals

Our approach to Brexit is to help create the conditions for a built environment sector that is vibrant, sustainable and resilient to shocks.

Brexit Construction sector graphic
Brexit Construction sector graphic

What does the current Brexit deal mean?

  • The draft deal is substantial in many ways – its significance to the future of the UK, its impact on UK politics, and its word count.

    This draft deal is the outcome of months of negotiations, and with its publication came more UK Governmental resignations, political turmoil, and parliamentary debating time.

    Leaving the political landscape aside, there are numerous issues surrounding Brexit that were flagged by RICS pre- and post- Brexit. These issues – such as migration, recognition of professional qualifications and infrastructure funding - have a direct impact on the land, property and construction sectors, and some of these have been addressed in the deal in its current form.

  • The UK is set to leave the UK on 29 March 2019, and from that date the UK will enter a “transition period” of 21 months (December 2020). This transition period will comprise a “single customs territory” allowing time for further negotiations on a future trade deal to take place. This timescale could, however, be extended; but with that comes further uncertainty.

    Indeed, since the referendum result in June 2016, there has been a gradual increase in the number of RICS professionals citing Brexit as a concern to stability and growth in the markets that make up the built environment.

  • The deal ensures that there will be no tariffs, fees or other charges for goods. This will mean there will be no additional costs for importing materials used in construction. This is a welcome provision – particularly as the UK imports more construction materials than it exports

  • EU nationals, and their families, who have lived in the UK for five years will retain their rights to stay. Likewise, UK expats will be in receipt of the same rights. Short term trips to the EU will also be visa-free, which may prove beneficial for those looking to broaden their professional experience by looking at vocations aboard.

  • Whilst the freedom of movement will end after the transition period, it will be replaced by a skills-based immigration system. More detail is required on how the skills-based immigration system will operate. However, it will need to be somewhat lenient when we consider that 11.6% of the UK Construction workforce was of non-UK origin (2015), and respondents to RICS’ quarterly construction and infrastructure market surveys regularly cite labour shortages as an issue impeding growth.

  • The UK has agreed honour its financial commitments to the EU for the funding period up to 2020. It is believed that this sum will reach an estimated £39bn.

    Whilst the pay-back period has not been provided, we have to consider where the monies for this repayment will come from – especially given the Chancellor’s £20bn funding package for the NHS in his most recent Budget Statement on 29 October.

    We are concerned that his repayment could negatively impact on infrastructure funding.

Learn more about our responses to Brexit

The importance of the built environment: UK, Europe and the world

Brexit UK graphic
The UK built environment
Brexit Europe graphic
The European built environment
Brexit global graphic
The global built environment

Brexit: industry news from other professional bodies