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RIBA president: ‘No deal Brexit will be devastating’

Ben derbyshire wide shot ac

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire has said the government’s back-up plans for a ‘no deal’ Brexit only fuel fears about the risks to UK business and the profession

Derbyshire was responding to a series of technical notices announced yesterday by Dominic Raab, secretary of state for exiting the EU, in the event that terms could not be agreed over the UK’s departure.

Without an agreement, the UK will be treated as a ‘third country’ from the end of March next year, with trade instead determined by World Trade Organisation rules and the UK immediately withdrawn from the rights and responsibilities of the Union. A ‘no deal’ would impact on everything from the rights of citizens not currently resident in their home countries, to the provision of goods and services across borders.

The guidance notes, which will be released gradually during the coming weeks, cover subjects ranging from new rules for exports to the licensing of medicines.

According to Raab, the notices are ’practical and proportionate’; will ’prioritise stability for our people, our businesses, and for our country’; and are ‘part of a common-sense approach to planning for a no deal Brexit’.

However, the RIBA president was quick to sound the alarm bells. He said: ’The publication of the UK Government’s technical notices confirm what we all feared: a ‘no deal’ Brexit will be devasting for the UK and needs to be avoided at all costs.

A ‘no deal’ Brexit will be devasting for the UK and needs to be avoided at all costs

’We are now looking to the UK Government and the European Commission to provide real leadership and produce a deal that will provide the clarity and certainty that the UK and Europe needs.’

So far eight key notices affecting the profession have been published namely: UK Government’s preparation for a no deal scenario; Trading with the EU; VAT for business; Banking, insurance and other financial services; Government’s guarantee for EU-funded programmesHorizon 2020 fundingWorkplace rights; and Erasmus+ if there’s no Brexit deal

Derbyshire added: ’The technical notices yet to be published must directly address the issues that businesses and in particular the UK’s globally successful architects, need confirmation of.

’Both the UK government and the EU Commission have recognised the importance of maintaining mutual recognition of professional qualifications following intense campaigning by the RIBA, but we now need absolute commitment on this issue.’

The RIBA has set up a dedicated webpage outlining all the announcements as they emerge.

Speaking yesterday (23 August) Raab insisted that the ’vast majority, roughly 80 per cent, of the withdrawal agreement [had] now been agreed, and we are making further progress on those outstanding separation issues’.

Among the already agreed ’settled issues’, Raab said, was an agreement on citizens rights ’so that 3.5 million EU citizens living in the UK and the one million Brits living in the EU have their rights assured, and can carry on living as they do now.’

Brexit europe

Brexit europe



Readers' comments (3)

  • It all feels very entente cordiale (1904) and Archduke Ferdinand (1914)? Let’s keep the lights on, and minimise the casualties? Lloyd George will see us through, and will tell our wives, in the drawing room, how it was done?!

    A few aircraft, tanks and good WiFi will help?!

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  • One aspect of Brexit that seems not to be on anyone's radar is whether or not there have been any attempts at coordination of building standards (as distinct from other standards) across Europe, because the Grenfell Tower tragedy - and now the Glasgow School of Art debacle, as well as scandals apparently swept under the carpet, such as Dartington Primary School and arguably the Lakanal House tragedy - surely suggest that Britain might have much to learn from other countries' building standards and management of building control.
    Or are we too proud / arrogant?

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  • Robert Wakeham raises an important issue. The solution is to hand by ditching the dog's breakfast that are the Building Regulations and adopting the IBC (International Building Code)
    Comprehensive, clear, prescriptive; It should be required reading for all construction professionals.

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