Brexit uncertainty shakes MPs’ confidence in UK business investment

7 Jun 2017

Policy area: Brexit

  • New research shows three quarters of MPs believe Brexit will adversely affect UK business investment.
  • British Property Federation urges Government to work with the real estate industry to maintain business confidence and drive economic growth.
  • Following General Election result, Government must maintain momentum on an industrial strategy for the UK and delivering homes of all tenures.

The British Property Federation (BPF) today publishes new research that shows 74 per cent of MPs believe Brexit will adversely affect business investment in the UK. Nearly half (49 per cent) say this impact will be significant.

The research, undertaken by ComRes on behalf of the BPF, also shows that 71 per cent of MPs believe Brexit will adversely affect the UK’s economic growth, and 59 and 56 per cent think the same for productivity and retail sales.   

The real estate industry represents 21 per cent of the UK’s total net wealth at a market value of £1.6 trillion, and maintaining business confidence and investment is fundamental to the industry’s future health. Given that real estate underpins almost all UK economic activity, the BPF is calling upon the next government to work in partnership with the industry to ensure this cross-party sentiment does not become reality.

The next government will need to drive productivity and economic growth across the country to support a successful post-Brexit UK, as well as to tackle critical issues such as increasing housing supply to meet current and future need.

While the MPs polled believe delivery of new housing will be impacted by Brexit to a lesser degree, when compared to business investment and economic growth, other barriers to housing delivery also remain. Over a third (35 per cent) believe local authorities do not allocate enough land for homes in the UK.

Critically, the research signals that a multi-tenure approach to housing is becoming more universally accepted, with three quarters (75 per cent) of MPs showing support for the Build-to-Rent sector – purpose-built, professionally managed rented homes.  

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, comments: “This research puts MPs’ confidence in the UK economy under the spotlight. Nervousness is not surprising given that we are entering uncertain territory at the start of the Brexit negotiations but we must be careful not to talk ourselves into a self-fulfilling loss of confidence and the next government must take the right actions to build a successful UK economy for the future."

"Real estate has a significant contribution to make and we urge the Government to work with our industry to maintain business confidence in the UK and drive economic growth; provide fair, competitive and stable tax, regulatory and planning systems; invest in infrastructure and free up public sector land; help us to address the skills shortage in our industry; and support more housing supply across all tenures."

"Whatever the result of the General Election on 8 June, the next government must maintain momentum on creating an industrial strategy to deliver greater productivity and economic growth, and on taking the right measures to deliver increased investment in housing of all tenures.”