Agg Business: UK quarrying and mining sector earnings rise sharply despite halving EU investment post referendum

Date: February 17, 2020

The UK quarrying and mining sector has halved its overall investment in the EU since the Brexit vote, but earnings have rocketed up by more than £2 billion (€2.394bn) in that time, according to analysis of latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) data by R&D (research and development) tax relief specialist Catax.

UK quarrying and mining companies had £34.4billion invested in the EU in 2015, the year before the Brexit referendum, but this had dropped to £16bn in 2018 — a 53.5% fall.

However, in the same period, earnings from UK investments in the EU shot up from -£91mn in 2015 to +£2.1bn in 2018. The data suggests UK quarrying and mining firms have made a series of wise investment moves in the wake of the referendum. 

Meanwhile, EU inward investment positions for the UK quarrying and mining sector decreased from £52.5bn in 2015 to £35.2bn in 2018 – a reduction of 33%. This compares favourably with sectors such as UK utilities, which has quadrupled its investment position in the EU but seen earnings increase by under a quarter (23%).

Mark Tighe, Catax chief executive, said: “For the past few years we’ve heard horror stories about what would happen to the UK following the vote to leave the EU. The quarrying and mining industry has clearly made some hard decisions about the future, with investment positions being wound down on both sides of the Channel. But for UK firms these sensible decisions have clearly paid off, with mining and quarrying firms enjoying a boom in earnings, emerging this side of Brexit in stronger position.

“The quarrying and mining sector’s earnings have gone from being £91mn in the red, to a whopping £2bn in the black since the Brexit vote. This is more good news for British industry as the country starts to set its own course on the journey to become a new outward-looking nation outside the EU.”

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