ICE President Sir John Armitt to lead new Brexit infrastructure group

ICE has announced the creation of a special leadership group to inform Brexit negotiators on the key risks, challenges and opportunities the infrastructure industry faces.

The group will ensure that Government is provided with the evidence it needs to continue with major infrastructure projects (Picture: Transport for London).
The group will ensure that Government is provided with the evidence it needs to continue with major infrastructure projects (Picture: Transport for London).

The new group will be chaired by President Sir John Armitt, and will include representatives from Pinsent Masons, RICS, Skanska, Aecom, KPMG, BSI, Atkins and the Construction Leadership Council.

The group will gather expert knowledge, data and evidence on what it agrees are the fundamental issues facing the sector, and provide compelling evidence based briefings to negotiators. It will liaise with politicians and civil servants and appoint other industry experts to assist them.

The information gathered through the project will be provided to the Brexit unit set up in the Cabinet Office. The Royal Academy of Engineering is undertaking a programme of work in parallel looking across the engineering disciplines, and the ICE led group will feed into this.

In a post for ICE's Infrastructure blog, 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.

"Our industry must look forwards; we must work together to ensure these negotiations are informed and officials have the facts. ICE is well placed to bring the sector together and channel its collective expertise through a single voice, and I am pleased to have established a strong leadership group to drive this forward. Ultimately our aim is to help this team negotiate the best possible deal for the country."

"In this unprecedented situation, it is essential that we "pull together" - this will help us in identifying not only the risks we face, but the opportunities ahead." He added.

Sir John was also interviewed for BBC Radio 4's Today programme (02:45:20) where he told presenter Sarah Montague that the new group will advise the Cabinet Office on the concerns of the construction sector on the effect of leaving the EU. He also discussed the impact that Brexit might have on big infrastructure projects and the 400,000 engineering and construction workers estimated to be needed for projects already in the pipeline.

The announcement of the group follows publication of ICE's 'Case for Infrastructure' report which calls on Government to commit to infrastructure during its negotiations with the EU and continue to place infrastructure investment at the heart of economic policy.

Read Sir John's blog

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