This morning, the Prime Minister flew to Brussels to meet President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. At a later press conference, it was announced that agreement had been reached on the three areas covered by the first phase of Brexit negotiations.
There will be plenty of comment about the ins and outs of the deal that has been reached. However, the key element that will have most impact on the construction sector was always that of the right of citizens of other EU nations who have already come to the UK to make their lives and careers to remain in this country after Brexit.
Despite the reassurance that has consistently been given by members of the Government about a desire to let people remain in the UK, there has been inevitable uncertainty for those who were affected. This has been similar for people from the UK who have chosen to live and work – or retire – in the rest of the EU.
It is pleasing to note, therefore, the issues have been settled and that people who are here will be able to continue contributing to the UK economy – particularly when it comes to construction.
Every six months the CSkills Quality Assurance team come and check that all of our work meets their standards and yesterday we had such a visit. They told us that many training centres across the country had seen fewer people from other EU nations coming in for assessment over the past few months. That is no doubt because some people have returned home – but probably more have put off getting their qualifications whilst they wait to find out if the Brexit is going to mean they face an uncertain future.
We are delighted this reassurance has been given today – not because of what we do – but because we had noticed the difficulty some of our colleagues were facing.
Uncertainty is no good for anyone. It’s great to know this has been overcome and everyone can get on with building the houses and infrastructure the country needs.