Liberal Democrat peer and former building regulations minister Andrew Stunell has said he has been appointed to examine the impact of Brexit on the UK’s construction industry
Speaking to the AJ, Stunell said he had been given the role by Richard Newby, Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords, and would report his findings to the government.
He said his appointment was part of a review led by members of the House of Lords into the impact of the Brexit vote on a range of UK sectors, including financial services and transport.
‘The most important thing is to make sure the [construction] industry’s voice is heard by ministers,’ he said, adding that the House of Lords was the place where this voice had the ‘best chance’ of being heard.
He said: ’Even better if the voice is not only heard, but properly listened to and that has an impact on the outcomes. I’ve made the point to quite a few sectors of the industry that as far as I can see the government at the moment is sitting at a desk with a completely white piece of paper.’
’I want us to be able to knock on the door, go in, and say: “Here is a piece of paper with some sensible things written on […] why not use this?”’
Stunell said he would look at what must be preserved in the construction industry; in what order EU negotiations should be carried out with respect to their impact on the industry, such as the UK’s supply of EU workers’ visas; and whether can Brexit be used to accelerate aspects of the construction industry, for example, by having a bigger construction sector to deliver the government’s housing target of one million new homes by 2020.
In addition, Stunell said that he has consulted a number of bodies within the construction industry, including the RIBA, and was ‘struck’ by the high number of other EU nationality architects who live and work in the UK
Stunell said discussions for his role began last September and will continue as EU negotiations unfold.