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Last edited 20 Oct 2016

Brexit - the case for infrastructure


On 8th July 2016, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) published a two-page summary report 'Brexit - The case for infrastructure'. The report highlights the valuable contribution which infrastructure makes to the UK economy.

It suggests that high quality, high-performing infrastructure is vital for economic growth and improved quality of life. It points to transport, communications, energy and housing as central to spreading opportunity across the whole country. It also makes the case that infrastructure acts as a catalyst for social and economic inclusion, encouraging greater participation in society from people of all walks of life.

During uncertain or volatile economic times, continued investment in UK infrastructure can help provide economic stability, facilitate inward investment and drive economic growth.

The report highlights the fact that for every £1 of infrastructure spending, economic activity increases by £2.84, with the construction industry contributing a huge £103bn in economic output, 6.5% of the UK total. Infrastructure also creates a large number of jobs for the UK, 2.1 million in 2015 representing 6.2% of the total. Every 1,000 direct jobs created by the delivery of new infrastructure boosts wider employment by more than 3,000.

It praises the revival that infrastructure has enjoyed since the financial crisis, with a better understanding of the long term strategic case for infrastructure investment and delivery across the political divide. But, the UK still sits just 24th in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness infrastructure rankings, behind a number of our economic competitors including Japan (7th), France (10th) and Germany (12th).

The report calls on Government to commit to infrastructure during its negotiations with the EU and to continue to place infrastructure investment at the heart of economic policy. It suggests the Government must continue to invest in long term infrastructure programmes and support the National Infrastructure Commission. It also calls on Government to continue to place infrastructure at the heart of its plans for devolution, as set out in its recent State of the Nation: Devolution report.

The report follows ICE's announcement that, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, it will be co-operating with the other 37 organisations representing the engineering profession to ensure that the needs of all sectors that have a dependence on engineering are represented and understood..

You can download the report here.

--The Institution of Civil Engineers

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