Scottish building firms lean towards EU-in stance

Vaughan Hart says 2016 will be a challenging year. Picture: Chris McIntyre
Vaughan Hart says 2016 will be a challenging year. Picture: Chris McIntyre
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Scottish builders are divided on the impact of Britain splitting away from the European Union, while industry confidence has taken a further dip, a report today suggests.

Almost one in three building employers think a Brexit vote would have a negative impact on their business compared to 8 per cent who think the impact would be positive. More than 40 per cent think the impact would be neutral while a further 20 per cent remain unsure what the impact would be, according to the latest Scottish Construction Monitor.

The quarterly poll of the membership of trade body Scottish Building Federation (SBF) also showed a further drop in construction employers’ confidence about the outlook for their business compared to the final quarter of 2015.

Although it marks the 11th consecutive quarter in which a positive overall confidence rating has been recorded, it is now only marginally positive having slipped by a further five points this quarter to stand at +3. SBF managing director Vaughan Hart said the result “adds weight to the view that 2016 looks set to be a challenging year for the Scottish economy”.

He added: “For its part, SBF will not involve itself in the forthcoming referendum campaign. But I would observe that it is perhaps this growing sense of uncertainty about the economic outlook which explains why, on balance, our members are leaning marginally towards a preference for remaining in the European Union when the referendum takes place in June.”