What Brexit Means for the UK’s Construction Industry

When the United Kingdom resolved to join the European Union in 1973, the drivers of this resolution perhaps could have never imagined that a mere four odd decades later there’d come a time when Britain resolved to go the other way and withdraw from the Union. Many industries both in what will be the remaining countries making up the EU and those which now effectively have to stand on their own two feet within the United Kingdom will definitely have to go through a period of some serious restructuring and there are opportunities abound on either side.

If we cast our focus into the construction industry however, some rather interesting dynamics continue to form and many of the industry’s major players are still trying to navigate what is a rather precarious period of uncertainty as Britain prepares to formally make an official exit. You can only imagine how much of a logistical nightmare this limbo period of sorts has on legislators, regulators and those who have to enforce the compliance surrounding legislations and regulations construction businesses have to adhere to. For one — do you continue to do business as usual when your competitors might be gearing up for the looming changes and so are probably building up channels through which they can gain a competitive advantage?

On the other side of the coin is the fact that current regulations do indeed still stand and will probably be in effect until the official exit actually kicks in, so just how much of your resources and time do you invest in ensuring your business’ continuous compliance with the current regulations?

Sustainalytics recently completed a report entitled ‘Brexit: Assessing the ESG Implications’ and in the report it argues that there is a very low probability of policy changes being effected with regards to waste management, an operational area which forms a big part of the construction industry. The low probability of the policy changes stems from the consideration of the fact that UK foundational law pretty much underpins the directives of the EU and so the UK would perhaps still operate under the policy which it helped shape in a huge way.

So it appears as if it’ll be a while yet until the likes of construction companies have to start worrying about the specific details of their own operational processes such as perhaps choosing to hire waste management skips versus buying in anticipation of what may or may not be some regulatory changes to waste management compliance requirements.

One effect that does seem to bear a strong indication of its likelihood is that of how the realignment of the manner in which the construction and waste management industries work. So while you may have been able to hire any citizen of the EU who is qualified for a specific job, the red-tape involved with doing so legitimately under what would likely be new operations regulations will inevitably be magnified.

Looking at the impact of Brexit on the construction industry purely from a financial stand-point requires one to zone in on specific viewpoints to consider, one of which is discussed at length by waste management service provider, Reconomy.

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