NFB urges the Government to make Brexit work for SMEs

NFB urges the Government to make Brexit work for SMEs

With fewer than 300 days until the UK officially leaves the EU, the NFB has aired concerns that the Government has not set out in greater detail its vision of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

The Government has published a technical note on the temporary customs arrangements, which will determine the UK’s negotiating position at the European Council Summit on 28 June.  

Continuous disagreement over the future direction of Brexit among backbench MPs and cabinet ministers in Government has created a degree of uncertainty, which is likely to be harmful for businesses across the UK construction industry.

The NFB is calling for the Government to work towards reassuring construction SMEs and regional contractors by pushing for a Brexit that enables growth and prosperity.

Figures from the Construction Trade Survey for Q1 of 2018, which the NFB contributed to, shows that output has decreased from £39.3bn in Q1 of 2017 to £38.2bn in Q1 of 2018, and that 87% of contractors reported increasing material costs throughout the first three months of 2018. This has not been helped by the depreciating pound sterling, which has continued to contribute to rising material costs for contractors.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB, said: “Currently, 77% of products consumed in UK construction are already made in the UK, with some of our most exported products also being the most imported. Therefore, it is crucial that we invest in the capacity of those industries.

“MPs and cabinet ministers need to stop fighting the EU referendum and come together to work out a cross-party approach to Brexit. SMEs and regional contractors across the construction industry need consistency and certainty if they are to grow and succeed after we leave the EU.”

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