Government must build UK reputation as popular destination for private investment to deliver £500bn infrastructure plan

The Government must clarify the UK’s future relationship with the European Investment Bank following departure from the European Union, according to the infrastructure sector’s Brexit Leadership Group, chaired by Sir John Armitt.

The Brexit Leadership Group has offered a three-part strategy to ensure Brexit does not disrupt the delivery of the planned pipeline of major infrastructure projects which underpins Government’s current efforts to drive up UK productivity. This planned pipeline will require £500bn of private investment over the next 10 years.

The three-point plan includes:

  1. Consolidating the UK’s status as an attractive location for infrastructure investment:
    Clarity on our future relationship with the EIB should be an immediate priority in forthcoming negotiations. Government should start consulting with industry now on alternative options for filling this gap in the investment mix. This should include the potential for a UK investment bank to replace EIB funding
  2. Avoiding a self-inflicted skills crisis:
    Securing the status of UK workers in the EU should also be a priority objective at the outset of the Brexit negotiations. Government and industry should collaborate to map the skills required to deliver the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline and prioritise them within any post-Brexit immigration system
  3. Using Industrial Strategy to exploit the UK’s emerging status as a global leader in infrastructure innovation and technology:
    Infrastructure must remain a priority in the final industrial strategy. Government and the infrastructure sector must establish a shared programme to exploit the UK’s existing advantages in innovation and technology

Commenting on the Brexit Leadership Group’s paper, Sir John Armitt said: “The EIB has been a vital part of the investment mix, acting as a critical anchor investor, funding billions of UK infrastructure projects and attracting other sources of funding. If we are at risk of losing this source of investment, the Government should start consulting with industry now on alternative options, including the potential for an infrastructure investment bank. This will send a clear signal to the market, and help consolidate the UK’s reputation as a global leader in infrastructure delivery.”

Find out more and download the strategy

Notes to editors

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a leading source of professional expertise in transport, water supply and treatment, flood management, waste and energy. Established in 1818, it has 91,000 members, 25% of whom are based overseas. ICE’s vision is to place civil engineering at the heart of society, delivering sustainable development through knowledge, skills and professional expertise. ICE has long worked with the government of the day to help it to achieve its objectives, and has worked with industry to ensure that construction and civil engineering remain major contributors to the UK economy.

Top