The Brexit Infrastructure Group is a special leadership group which has been established as a resource for Government and industry to provide expert insight into the key risks, challenges and opportunities the infrastructure industry faces.
The Group is chaired by Past President and Deputy Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt, and includes representatives from Pinsent Masons, RICS, Skanska, Aecom, KPMG, BSI, Atkins and the Construction Leadership Council. During the months ahead the group will be an active participant in senior level policy discussions, providing government with the best available evidence to inform its approach to the Brexit negotiations.
Earlier this year, Sir John said: "The EU Referendum outcome has left a cloud of uncertainty over the infrastructure and construction industry. There are questions around access to skills, foreign investment, use of codes, standards and regulations, and funding for research – all of these things are core to delivering the infrastructure that forms the backbone of the UK economy."
Most recently the group has made a submission to the 'UK's negotiating objectives for withdrawal from EU inquiry' that the Exiting the European Union Committee is running.
The submission contains a series of short briefings covering the five areas of policy that the group consider to be critical to the ongoing health of the UK's construction industry and infrastructure sector. The five areas are each lead by a member of the Brexit Infrastructure Group:
- Investment, financing and funding – James Stewart (KPMG)
- Skills and labour – Amanda Clack (RICS)
- Research funding and innovation – Mike Putnam (Skanska)
- Codes and standards – Scott Steedman (BSI)
- Procurement – Paul Nash (CIOB)
Brexit has created a complex period of uncertainty around UK infrastructure delivery and the Group seeks to ensure that this uncertainty is mitigated by proposing a number of recommendations. Amongst the recommendations are calls for Government to reaffirm its commitment to the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, use its industrial strategy to boost productivity and ensure that the UK remains an influential member of the European Investment Bank. Conversely, it says, the Government's industrial strategy represents an opportunity to boost productivity, requiring clear industry leadership and a willingness to embrace innovation and digitalisation to deliver smarter infrastructure.
Access to and influence in the EU remains fundamental to the UK construction industry and infrastructure sector, including access to skills and research investment. Membership and influence in relevant European standards organisations such as CEN and CENELEC is also an important position to maintain, the submission says.