pbc today: UK construction earnings on EU investments dwindle post-Brexit

Date: February 17, 2020

The UK construction sector has seen earnings on its investments in the EU plummet since the Brexit vote with profits dropping 95%, analysis of the latest ONS data has revealed

UK construction companies’ earnings on its EU investment positions went from £24m in 2015 to a measly £4m in 2018 – down 83%.

The drop is even larger when compared with the sector’s £77m earnings in 2016.

Construction firms had £638m invested in the EU in 2015, the year before the Brexit referendum, while this was reduced to £552m three years on, according to analysis of the latest statistics by R&D tax relief specialist Catax.

Over the same period, EU inward investment remained broadly level, going from £4.4bn in 2015, to £4.9bn in 2017, the last year for which figures are available.

UK mining sector

The construction industry has fared badly compared with some other sectors. The UK mining sector has halved its overall investments in the EU since the Brexit vote – falling from £34.4bn in 2015 to £16bn in 2018 – but earnings have rocketed by more than £2bn in that time.

They rose from negative £91m in 2015 to positive £2.1bn in 2018.

Mark Tighe, chief executive of R&D tax relief specialists Catax, 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 construction industry has seen investment positions hold firm on both sides of the Channel, despite earnings taking a tumble.

“But UK firms still have huge amounts invested in the EU, and vice versa, showing that both sides see the relationship continuing.”

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