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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Brexit Hasn’t Hurt Small House Builders

There’s been a lot of nervousness about Brexit in the construction industry, and across a lot of industries in general, but a few months after the referendum we can start to feel more confident about our prospects looking forwards.

The Federation of Master Builders surveyed 108 smaller house-builders in England and found that 69% didn’t see any impact on their business after the referendum. Only 10 businesses had seen a project cancelled since the vote in June and 23 saw delays to some projects, but the majority had just seen ‘business as usual’. The biggest impact was a delay on decision making, rather than cancelled projects.

The survey also asked SME house builders what they needed the UK government to secure as part of leaving the EU. Over half of respondents said that they wanted to see unnecessary regulation dropped, while over a fifth said that they needed skilled tradespeople from the EU to be able to work in the UK and fill any skills shortages the UK has.

Other responses included ensuring that material imports are still tariff free, and ensuring that EU investment in UK construction is replaced or maintained.

Brian Berry, the Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said “Despite some fears that the referendum result might put new projects on hold, the overwhelming majority of SME house builders are reporting that no decisions have yet been influenced by the referendum result. This matches the view expressed by many small construction firms that so far, the market appears to suggest that it’s ‘business as usual’. Only one quarter of small house builders have seen any negative effect on their projects from the Brexit decision, and most of these are the result of delayed decisions rather than actual project cancellations.”