Call for transitional arrangement for immigrant workers

Brexit could prove “disastrous” for the built environment sector unless transitional arrangements allow the industry to draw on EU workers while it skills up a domestic workforce, a group of MPs has warned.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment warned that Britain leaving the EU could have a dire effect on delivery of new homes and infrastructure in a new report called Building on Brexit.

The study, sponsored by the Construction Industry Council, sets out a 12-point plan to deal with the impact of Brexit on skills and for modernising the construction industry which include government ensure existing EU migrant workers are able to remain in the UK and then put in place transitional arrangements for “a period of time so that access to foreign workers does not fall off a cliff”.

Oliver Colvile, chairman of the MPs group, admitted: “Brexit presents huge risks to the UK construction sector.”

Earlier this month, Amanda Levete told BD she was considering opening an office in Paris, partly as a response to the “massive threat” Brexit poses to her practice.

The architect said the risk of losing her non-British EU staff was a serious concern, adding: “Psychologically for the people in my office who have made the massive decision to leave their home country and put down roots here, get on the property ladder and start families – they don’t know what their status is.”

Last month, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners said a large number of its non-UK employees are looking to become British citizens to head off the threat of being thrown out of the country because of Brexit.