What does the 500-page trade deal between the EU and UK mean for the architecture, engineering and construction sectors? Over a month has passed since the UK was officially dislocated from the EU and there remains a severe lack of clarity over the long-term implications this divorce will have on the industry. The fears around winning work, loss of labour, and the availability of high quality, low carbon products are high and London’s attractiveness as a global city is at stake.
To better understand the implications on architecture, engineering and construction, we bring together experts to provide their insight – not just on the challenges we face, but where the opportunities lie for London and how we might harness new relationships to pave a positive future for the UK’s capital.
00:00 Welcome from Chair
Leanne introduces the session and outlines some of the challenges that Brexit brings constructors, engineers and architects.
03:27 Stephen Barrett, Partner, RSHP
Stephen begins by saying Brexit has had and will continue to have a real and tangible effect on business and that already the uncertainty has brought direct consequences. For example, UK architectural qualifications are no longer recognised in France. Stephen closes by assuring the audience that we will find a way of navigating the difficulties ahead.
09:33 Martin Hitchin, CEO, Rehau
Despite, 'limited time to get processes in place due to the late deal' and the impact that has had on supply chains and cost;
Consumer confidence remains very positive, there is a general feeling that we'll get through this.
16:16 Tom Mather, Construction Director, Be First
Tom begins by admitting the 'deal' has come at a terrible time and points towards logistics issues and a downturn in output. However, he remains highly optimistic for the future, stating that there are a lot of opportunities, most notably, the opportunity to 'Build British' and start developing local supply chains. He continues;
There has never been a better opportunity to rebuild the economy with reasonably paid, skilled jobs.
24:41 Elsie Owusu, Principal, Elsie Owusu Architects
Elsie starts by talking about the shift in mindset as we continue in this 'different normal' and how she has gone from being a big skeptic to looking at the Brexit disruption as a big opportunity. She states that as the lockdowns have changed and even improved the way we work internationally, there is no reason why architects are not able to look beyond the EU, particularly as we have an opportunity to source diverse, home talent, allowing us to strike up relationships in other continents.
34:16 Panel discussion