EU referendum - ICE's role in the debate

Since the EU referendum was announced I have been asked about ICE’s position a number of times.

The European Commission building in Brussels. Image: Sébastien Bertrand [CC BY-SA 2.0], Wikimedia Commons
The European Commission building in Brussels. Image: Sébastien Bertrand [CC BY-SA 2.0], Wikimedia Commons
  • Updated: 22 April, 2016
  • Author: Andrew Crudgington, ICE Director External Affairs and Strategy

This is of course a topic that rouses enormous passions on both sides. But it is important for us to have a clear view on the role of professional and learned bodies in this type of debate.

ICE exists to develop and share knowledge that can help improve the delivery and operation of infrastructure and in the context of the EU referendum we do not take a position on the political question of whether or not the UK should remain within the EU.

We do, however, want both sides of the referendum debate to explain how their position will impact on the UK’s ability to secure the high performing infrastructure that is vital for our future wellbeing.

This should include impacts on project delivery, infrastructure investment, research funding and collaboration, access to skills and use of common codes and standards.

To focus minds, we have identified five key questions that both sides should be able to answer and back up with evidence during the course of this debate.

  • Will the UK infrastructure sector be better or worse placed to access the skilled labour it needs to meet the nation’s demand for infrastructure services?
  • Will the UK be better or worse placed to access the Foreign Direct Investment it needs to meet the UK’s demand for infrastructure services?
  • Will it be easier or more difficult to deliver and secure the full benefits from existing and planned projects?
  • Will the UK’s world leading science and engineering research community be in a better or worse position?
  • Will the UK be in a better or worse position in relation to the creation and adoption of international codes and standards that shape much national and international civil engineering activity?

These questions capture our understanding of the current situation, and we will continue to monitor the situation and work with ICE members as the evidence base develops. Members’ views and evidence in relation to these five core questions are welcome and can be shared by emailing policy@ice.org.uk.

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