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Brexit a Threat to British Architecture Projects

A recent survey is suggesting that Brexit has had a detrimental effect on UK architecture, with over two-thirds of British architects reporting that building projects have been put on hold since the referendum.

Over one-third of the survey respondents said that in 2017 they had British architecture projects cancelled because of the uncertainty over the country’s departure from the EU.

According to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), these results reveal the existence of major concerns about the ongoing lack of clarity over the relationship with the EU in the long term.

RIBA, whose membership roster ranges from solo practitioners from massive firms led by high-profile professionals, said that Brexit would isolate the UK further, with 74% of members claiming that British architecture needed access to a single market if it wanted to keep expanding internationally.

They also expressed concern that without a cross-border recognition of professional qualifications, they would lose valued employees from the EU.

Survey results suggested that 60% of EU architects working on British architecture projects have thought about leaving the country. This is an increase over a 2016 survey, which stated that 40% of EU architects contemplated leaving because of the referendum.

Over 20% of the 40,000 architects employed in Britain are from the EU.

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Allan Vallance, chief executive of RIBA, said that several EU architects remain unsure about their future in this country, a situation he described as “unsustainable.”

Mr. Vallance said that the impact on recruitment is already obvious and that the situation jeopardises the success of the UK economy. He urged the government to make important decisions to allow the sector to flourish today.

RIBA maintains that architects have an important contribution to make to the post-Brexit UK by helping to build cohesive communities through quality design and building in British architecture projects. The organisation stated that with only one more year to go, its survey suggested that concern over Brexit was damaging industry confidence.

Each year the country’s architecture sector contributes close to £4.8bn to the UK economy, but RIBA’s main concern is that Brexit, combined with changed immigration policies for citizens of the EU, will harm the growth potential of the industry.

Architecture is a field celebrated for its international project collaborations. Examples include the Paris Pompidou Centre, which was designed by UK architect Lord Rogers and Italian architect Renzo Piano.

In its report, RIBA requested the government to realise that like science and research, architecture stands to benefit from international collaboration. It emphasised that global expansion can only progress if the British government makes access to international talent a priority.

Specialists in Construction Insurance

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