Last edited 14 Apr 2021

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The Institution of Civil Engineers Institute / association Website

Safeguarding infrastructure post-Brexit


[Image: Manchester’s Metrolink expansion received £500m from the European Investment Bank, with billions more going to other UK projects]

In March 2017, the ICE-led Brexit Infrastructure Group launched a 3-point plan outlining immediate actions the Government should take on infrastructure investment, skills and industrial strategy.

The group’s 3 point plan:

  1. Consolidate the UK’s status as an attractive location for infrastructure investment

Clarity on the UK's future relationship with the European Investment Bank (EIB) should be an immediate priority in forthcoming negotiations. The EIB is a key anchor investor in infrastructure. From 2012-16 it invested over €30bn in UK projects.

Government should consult with industry now on alternatives for filling any potential investment gaps left through loss of UK membership to the EIB. This should include the potential for a UK investment bank to replace EIB funding.

  1. Avoid a self-inflicted skills crisis

Government should guarantee the status of existing EU nationals currently working in the UK. A rapid reduction in EU nationals employed in construction would put major projects at risk. In London alone, 27% of construction jobs are currently filled by EU nationals.

Government and industry should collaborate to map the skills required to deliver the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline and prioritise them within any post-Brexit immigration system.

  1. Use industrial strategy to exploit the UK’s emerging status as a global leader in infrastructure innovation and technology

Government and the infrastructure sector must establish a shared programme to exploit the UK’s existing advantages in innovation and technology.

Commenting on the Brexit Leadership Group’s paper, Sir John Armitt said:

“The EIB has been a vital part of the investment mix, acting as a critical anchor investor, funding billions of UK infrastructure projects and attracting other sources of funding. If we are at risk of losing this source of investment, the Government should start consulting with industry now on alternative options, including the potential for an infrastructure investment bank. This will send a clear signal to the market, and help consolidate the UK’s reputation as a global leader in infrastructure delivery.”

Find out more and download the strategy

About the Brexit Infrastructure Group:

The group was formed after June 2016’s EU referendum and is developing a series of policy briefings to keep infrastructure at the centre of the Brexit negotiation process. These cover investment, codes and standards, research and innovation, and skills and procurement.

This article was originally published here on 26 Mar 2017 by ICE. It was written by Ben Goodwin.

--The Institution of Civil Engineers

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