New construction minister to face an industry split on Brexit at UK Construction Week

Nadhaim Zahawi MP is the UK’s third construction minister of 2019 and is heading to next month’s UK Construction Week (UKCW) at the NEC.

While there he is set to face an industry as conflicted over Brexit as the rest of the nation, according to a poll from the show organisers.

Over 900 construction professionals were surveyed by UKCW and asked what their request to the Construction Minister and the Government would be.

While most of the responses were impatient about Brexit, the responses were split about what the next step would be. 37% wanted the Government to ‘Get Brexit completed’ while 37% favoured a “no ifs or buts” approach. However, 32% said they wanted to ‘Cancel Brexit’ altogether.

Of the contractors responding, 44% said they wanted to ‘Get Brexit Completed’ compared to 20% wanting to ‘Cancel Brexit’. Those responses contrasted with architects, 57% of which wanted to ‘Cancel Brexit’ while 15% wanted to ‘Get Brexit completed’.

Other issues suggested avoided the issue of Brexit altogether. 9% wanted the government to speed up initiatives to tackle climate change, 4% wanted to surprise HS2 while 3% wanted planning law and policy reform to make it easier to build.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said: “The splits in the construction industry’s views simply reflect what’s happening in society generally. But it is a really difficult time for this sector at the moment, a sector that absolutely hates uncertainty. The Minister will hear this very clearly when he attends this year’s event – whether it’s deal or no deal, or cancelling it altogether, we just want to know how to prepare for the future.”

UKCW will host a debate on the main stage titled ‘Brexit Boom or Bust’.

UK Construction Week runs 8-10 October at the NEC, Birmingham.