Almost 200,000 construction jobs could go if Britain leaves single market, RICS warns

RICS has released its construction market survey for the first quarter of 2017. Picture: Steve Adams

RICS has released its construction market survey for the first quarter of 2017. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2004.

Britain's construction industry could lose almost 200,000 workers if access to the single market is lost in Brexit negotiations, a report warns.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said some of the country's biggest infrastructure problems will be threatened by such huge job losses.

Construction – an industry in which 8% of the workforce are EU nationals – is already in the grip of a skills crisis, RICS warned.

The group's head of UK policy, Jeremy Blackburn, said: 'These figures reveal that the UK construction industry is currently dependent on thousands of EU workers.

'It is in all our interests that we make a success of Brexit, but a loss of access to the single market has the potential to slowly bring the UK's £500bn infrastructure pipeline to a standstill.

'That means that unless access to the single market is secured or alternative plans are put in place, we won't be able to create the infrastructure needed to enable our cities to compete on a global stage.'