UK’s future hanging by a ‘fish’

UK’s future hanging by a ‘fish’

BLOG · BY TTF CEO DAVID HOPKINS · 27 July

With the economy starting to get back on its feet and adapt to a new normal, a Brexit deal seems ‘unlikely’ again as the EU and the UK can’t agree on fishing. 

Last week with our Confederation of Timber Industries partners, and Building Magazine, we helped design and host a webinar showcasing ‘why timber is leading constructions net zero recovery’.

The event pushed timber towards a wider audience and context, discussing how timber as a material could be understood in the Construction Leadership Council’s Road to Recovery, practical examples of how timber is being used to create high performance, high quality buildings in the UK, and global supplies and policies around the use of timber.

Our many thanks to the speakers, Simon, Jonathan, and Silvia for their keen insights, which the initial feedback has shown was eagerly received by the audience. Growing the use of timber means engaging new audiences, and it was positive to see such an appetite from Building Magazine’s audience of clients, contractors, consultants, and architects, many of them from senior positions in some of the largest construction firms in the UK.

The webinar is set to be made available on Building Magazine later today, and I encourage our members to engage and share it with any of their stakeholders who might be interested when it does come live.

Going back to business, many of our members will find the graphs of interest in today’s Construction Product Association (CPA) notes. The overall construction PMI for June was 55.3 as compared to 28.9 in May, and the introduction of flexible working hours on construction sites will hopefully help this trend continue. However, the OBR have dropped expectations that UK GDP would return to pre-COVID-19 levels at the end of this year, with its main scenario now expecting this by the end of 2022.

Here at the TTF we are expecting more of our energy and focus to be brought back to Brexit, with fisheries looking like it could now sink a Brexit deal. It is a bizarre turn. The Economist notes that this industry, which counts for just 0.1% of GDP and barely 12,000 jobs, could scupper a trade deal which could make billions of dollars in difference to the UK’s future growth.

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