Commenting on today’s official ONS construction statistics, which showed the industry growing for the sixth month in a row in October,
NFRC CEO, James Talman, said:
"The government’s support for construction has been most welcome and has clearly born fruit, as seen in today’s data, but it must not be undermined by the supply chain being unable to deliver due to a lack of government preparation for a no-deal Brexit. While the construction industry has performed well over the last few months, there could be chaos at our ports in January if the government doesn’t put the right mechanisms in now, for a no-trade deal scenario. This could have knock-on impacts on the whole supply chain, prolonging already extended lead times on certain products, that we have seen in 2020 due to Covid-19, such as timber.
"We know that our manufacturing members’ supplies are already being turned away from some ports and this is even before the end of the transition period. We have serious concerns that a lack of preparation on the part of the government could have a major impact on industry being able to bring in products and raw materials critical to UK infrastructure and housebuilding. There is also much uncertainty in the market around any future tariffs making it very difficult for businesses to plan for the year ahead.
“It is looking unlikely at this stage whether we will reach a deal with the EU. Government should therefore ramp up its support for industry to prepare for this scenario. The Prime Minister should also now seek to extend the transitional arrangements on the movement of goods and defer the possible implementation of any tariffs.”