Brexit Update by BMF MD John Newcomb

Following on from my brief statement last Friday I believe that we have all made time for contemplation over the weekend and to start to consider the implications of Brexit for all of our businesses.

Of course no one can predict what the full effect will be on the UK economy and on the construction industry in the short, medium and long term. However having now had chance to digest the impact on the BMF, as your trade association, I wanted to share with you all a list of the critical actions that we, as one of the largest and most important trade associations in the construction industry will be taking on your behalf. We believe these actions will help to maximise potential opportunities and minimise potential impacts on your business arising from this truly momentous decision.

1. Firstly, I will be holding detailed discussions this week with other leading trade bodies in our sector, such as the CBI, CPA and the FMB, to try to quantify the effect that Brexit will have on the construction industry sector and also to discuss the possible legislative changes that might now need to take place given the decision to leave the EU.

2. I have asked our Policy and Public affairs Manager, Brett Amphlett, to pull together a comprehensive list of items of legislation, such as the EU Timber Regulations and CE Marking, that have been historically driven from Europe, and to consider the impact of any changes to these that may follow if the Government turns its back on EEC driven directives and legislation.

3. Following the political turmoil of the weekend, and the inevitable and ongoing changes in the make up of the Cabinet and the Shadow Cabinet over the next few weeks we will be re-drafting and re-issuing the BMF Policy Manifesto. We will also draw up a list of key asks for both the new Government and the opposition parties that best reflects the fundamental requirements of the Merchant sector and its suppliers. Our revised Manifesto will be issued to all Members as soon as it is finalised.

4. Brett and I will be attending all the major political party Conferences over the Autumn period and the BMF will be taking a much higher profile role at each of these by supporting construction related fringe events and forums as well as setting up one to one meetings with each of those new ministers who will have an influence on policy that affects our sector.

5. In light of the regional variations in the Referendum results, I will be discussing with the Board ways of strengthening our Policy and Public affairs influence not only in Westminster but also in the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where it is becoming increasingly clear that we will need additional public affairs resource on the ground to promote our members interests.

There is no doubt that the events of the last few days have been dramatic and regardless of how you personally voted I know that most Members will now be concerned on what the short term future might bring, particularly for the economy. It is exactly at times like this that belonging to a strong trade association can help support and guide you through these changes and how they might affect your business. I believe the BMF is such a trade association. With your support I will ensure that our voice will be heard and that we have a central role to play with government to ensure that the Merchant sector continues to flourish and grow within the new economic and political landscape that will emerge over the coming months and years.

As we gather our thoughts and prepare our new policy direction together over the next few weeks I invite you to make your views known. Contact Brett or myself with any comments or policy issues that you would like us to raise with Government on your behalf. Also, if you are aware of other merchants or suppliers that are currently not members of the BMF but who may need our help and advice over the next few months and would like to join us then please ask them to contact me directly.

I have attached a letter and a checklist of considerations from the CBI on their approach which I hope you will find of interest. Please be assured that we will be keeping you regularly informed via our monthly bulletins and quarterly One Voice magazine as our new Policy and Public Affairs strategy develops.

As always, thank you for your continued support and for helping us to grow into one of the leading trade associations in the construction industry helping to represent your interests. Together we are stronger and regardless of the challenges that we will face over the next few weeks and months we will face them together as One Industry with One Voice.

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Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.

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