Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Trade body urges caution over Brexit stockpiling

The trade body for firms in the interior fit-out industry is advising companies considering stockpiling to assess the risks involved.

The Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) said that companies need to be cautious when planning ahead for possible disruption after Brexit.

Theresa May’s cabinet is reportedly looking at ramping up plans for a no-deal Brexit.

The body has been analysing potential problems its members could face, amid fears the information available is “overwhelming”.

FIS chief executive Iain McIlwee told Construction News that if companies decide to stockpile material, they need to be cautious about the financial and legal risks involved.

He said: “If you do decide to stockpile, you need to think about if you have got the ability to store that material, and what the potential liability is, any insurance implications and of course the risk of storing it.”

Mr McIlwee highlighted that while the initiative could pay off in the long run, the associated challenges that can come with it need to be assessed.

CN recently revealed that some major construction companies have been planning for Brexit by forward-buying their materials to reduce supply chain disruption or cost rises.

Stanmore Contractors and Quintain are among the companies who have been stockpiling materials in an attempt to reduce any Brexit impact, while EDF has put contingencies in place so work can continue at Hinkley Point C.

The FIS, whose members include ISG and Harrison and Rowe, has released a checklist which it said can provide “some certainty in the Brexit chaos” for its members.

Mr McIlwee said the checklist, only available to its members, aims to help businesses understand the full implications of Brexit and of any decisions they make ahead of it.

Potential issues such as the availability of EU workers and materials, import procedures, and fluctuating stock and credit levels are discussed in the plan.

Mr McIlwee said: “We are constantly hearing businesses need to start preparing for Brexit. Government has started to draw information together, but the complexity and the volume of information is overwhelming to most small and medium-sized businesses.”

The FIS chief executive also raised concerns about a shortage of workers because of a fall in of EU migrants after Brexit.

He said: “If we have a hard Brexit, the likelihood may be that the currency falls against the euro and it might be undesirable for EU workers to come and work here.

“We really do need to think hard about this now in our businesses. Not to panic, but to be prepared.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.