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BSRIA chief exec, Julia Evans

UK better placed 'in the club' says BSRIA EU survey

Survey of BSRIA members finds over half of respondents believe Brexit will have negative impact on business

Posted by Stephanie Broad | April 04, 2016 | People, policy, politics, money

BSRIA has published the results of its recent EU referendum member survey, which has found that over half of respondents think there’ll be a negative impact if the UK leaves the EU – specifically, 53% think that ‘EU exit will have a negative impact on your business’ and 58% that ‘exit from the EU will have a negative impact on the whole construction sector’.

However, a proportion don’t think a ‘Brexit’ would have an impact on industry or their businesses.

Fifty BSRIA members completed the survey, which ran for a fortnight from 7 March 2016. When asked ‘what kind of relationship with the EU would best meet the needs of your business?’ 39% responded that ‘joining the European Free Trade Area and European Economic Area allows for participation in the EU’s single market’. This is akin to Norway’s approach (which retains all the EU trade membership advantages, but not all the influence). In terms of alternative options, 22% were in favour of a commonwealth market.

“The biggest single issue is uncertainty. If a ‘Brexit’ is confirmed then we believe this will create three to four years of economic uncertainty. We may end up with a slightly better economic situation than if we stayed in Europe – however, this is in no way certain and we could very easily be in a more difficult situation. What is certain is that uncertainty will be detrimental to our economy. To repeat a phrase ‘it is the unknowns unknowns’ we need to worry about.” – BSRIA member comment

To the question of whether the EU should focus securing global free trade for its member states, 78% of respondents answered ‘yes’.

“If the UK wants any changes to current practices within Europe, UK will be better placed to affect these changes by belonging to the club and not from outside. This argument goes for anyone wanting to contribute to the betterment of any organization; you are better of belonging and contributing from inside rather than from outside.” – BSRIA member comment 

Julia Evans, Chief Executive of BSRIA, said: “We would like to thank BSRIA members, thus representing the construction industry, for taking the time to complete this important survey. Indeed, this gives the industry some kind of indicator of what might happen on 23rd June. The survey will enable BSRIA to understand its members’ views on reform of the EU and the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Above all – two issues are paramount. The ability for industry to trade easily and quickly across all EU member states and the ability to find skilled staff. In essence, on both counts, to be able to plan for the future.”

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