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Plant Hire Companies in the UK and Brexit

Posted on 24/12/2016 by Lee Hiskett

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So we voted to leave the EU what now? A recent ComRes/CNN survey showed a 47% in favour lead to still leave the EU with 45% wanting to remain. 47% believing we would be better off financially with just 36% thinking the UK would suffer, and just 35% in favour of another referendum with a strong 53% rejecting the idea.

Despite all the scaremongering we are committed to leave the EU so what does it mean for Plant Hire Companies in the UK? The main issues seem to be the biggest problems are:

Access to labour.

Free movement in the EU means that you have a much larger pool of resources to call upon. When we leave the EU this will mean access to that pool of labour may be more difficult to access. Given that when article 50 is triggered the UK will have 2 years to negotiate an exit deal the UK government will be able to put into place relevant training and apprenticeships to meet the shortfall.

Access to resources.

New agreements and trade agreements will need to be put into place to ensure availability and supply of materials used for the construction industry. It is feared that without the backing of the EU dealmakers may struggle to get favourable deals which could result in higher prices.

House Building and the Economy.

We need 1 million more homes by 2020 and it is widely thought that this will not be possible as without investment coming into the UK and demand reducing significantly will have the effect of pushing developers away from building more homes. Net migration to the UK is currently above 300,000 with much of this coming from the EU. Theresa May has promised to reduce this to tens of thousands.

With this in mind the expected demand for housing may be less significant then expected.

Loss of EU funding.

Funds such as the European Structural Investment Fund and the European Regional Development Funding would be lost when we leave the EU. Examples include the €755 million committed to the North West between 2007 and 2013, a £24 million contribution to a £50 million regeneration fund for Scotland in 2011 and a similar investment in Wales. The list goes on, extending to most of the major regeneration and social housing retrofitting schemes around the UK. In fact, we’re one of the EU’s biggest net beneficiaries of these funding schemes. Factor in the savings of £8.5 billion from leaving the EU means that we should be able to earmark some of these savings into keeping these schemes active.

Protection of working conditions.

Whilst we have benefitted from many new rules and regulations there are some that fear that leaving the EU will result in exploitation of workers with cowboy traders being able to take advantage of any uncertainty. When it comes to the well being and safety of UK workers only the “wrong shaped banana” type EU bureaucracy should be eliminated, especially where health and safety is concerned. In fact a thinning down of unnecessary res tape should be welcomed and the savings made from this should be invested into health and safety to keep workers safe.

In Conclusion.

While the scaremongers want us all to think we are doomed the reality seems to think we are not in for the end of days that they want us to think we are.

In reality we are growing well with GDP up by 0.5% in Q3 with public spending and confidence on the rise.

JCB has struck a deal with A-Plant worth £35 million for the purchase of 1,200 new machines, which includes a fleet of 13-ton excavators. A-Plant has also ordered a fleet of JCB site dumpers, mini excavators, telescopic handlers and rough terrain forklift trucks.