Brexit Infrastructure Group's three-point plan

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Establishing a UK infrastructure investment bank to replace funds from Europe is among immediate action urged by the Brexit Infrastructure Group in a new three-point plan for government.

The leadership group was set up by the Institution of Civil Engineers to advise government on infrastructure as the Brexit negotiations with Europe get under way. In a new report published this week, the group points out that every £1 invested in infrastructure produces £2.84 in overall economic benefit. Good infrastructure is essential for improving the UK's productivity, the report says. Creation of 1,000 jobs directly in infrastructure produces 3,000 in total employment terms, but Brexit is threatening to damage the UK's ability to deliver government's £500 billion pipeline of projects.

The Brexit Infrastructure Group sets out its three point plan to mitigate the risks: by maintaining the UK's attractiveness for infrastructure investment; by avoiding a 'self-inflicted skills crisis'; and by using government's Industrial Strategy to exploit the UK's position in innovation and technology.

The European Investment Bank has invested around €31 million in the UK, mostly in infrastructure, so government must consult industry on how these funds can be replaced for when the UK leaves the EU – including exploration of whether a UK investment bank can be set up to replace the EIB – the group says.

On avoiding any worsening of the industry's skills crisis, the Brexit group says government must guarantee the status of EU workers in the UK and map out with industry the level of skills required to deliver the national infrastructure plan and project pipeline.

The group's plan also calls for a shared programe between industry and government for exploitiong the UK's existing advantages in innovation and technology.: 'We are committed to working with government to exploit these advantages. This will be key to securing the cost effective, affordable and high performing networks we need to thrive. When combined with our world-leading legal, finance and advisory capabilites, it can open up high value export opportunities at a time of global demand for infrastructure.'