BBC:Brighton, Brexit and Construction

28th March 2019

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BBC:Brighton, Brexit and Construction

Following MPs rejection of all Brexit options last night it is unclear what our future with Europe will be and uncertainty looks likely to remain a familiar face for the time being.

Whilst the Construction Industry is not a fan of uncertainty, steps can be taken to minimise risk allowing your project to get started with confidence.

Brexit and Construction-what’s the problem?

Where ever you stand on Brexit there is no denying this process is having an effect on business. With EU nationals making up a significant proportion of the construction workforce and our reliance on EU building materials the British Construction Industry needs to consider it’s options.

MacConvilles Quantity Surveyor Ashley Dalton explores some of the possible implications of Brexit on our local construction market.  Whilst we can’t negate these effects MacConvilles Surveyors can help you navigate these challenging times and ensure you are well prepared for the road ahead.


Over the past decade we have seen an increasing shortage of unskilled/semi-skilled labour across the UK. Changes to UK immigration rules announced early this year do not support applications from non professional workers destined for the construction industry. The UK needs to actively encourage overseas workers to help reduce this shortage  and the risks associated with a reduced workforce of:

  • Increased labour costs
  • Prolonged project durations
  • Reduced quality of work


With approximately two-thirds of British construction materials imported directly from the EU and our own manufacturers unable to plug the gap, any change in trade and border agreements will have cost implications. Prices of materials will rise but we have little indication by how much.  And in the short term, there may also be issues with importing which could severely impacting construction programmes.

Clients often look for value for money and believe this is found in the lowest bid. This in turn encourages contractors to offer unsustainable low prices that do not build in for fluctuations in the construction market. If costs were to rise, contractors may be unable to meet their commercial targets which could result in works slowing on site or even coming to a complete stand still.

Others will seek to protect themselves by demanding the inclusion of fluctuations within a contract. This would pass any risk associated back to the Client and require further interrogation before agreeing a contract.

The Answer

All challenges present opportunities. With the inevitable rise in construction costs, developers, designers and surveyors will need to be creative. Engaging a professional team to steer you clear of budget breaking schemes has and will always be money well spent.

There will never be a one size fits all option and now more there ever clever creativity is required. So, if you have a project that you want to get on site come chat with us. Find out how we can build in certainty and creativity into your project.

Contact us today.

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