A working group comprised of the UK’s leading engineering organisations has come together to push the government to get the least damaging EU deal for the engineering sector, which accounts for 27 per cent of UK GDP.
Led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Engineering the future policy group includes 35 engineering organisations including the IET, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
“This is a period of huge change and uncertainty so it’s imperative that we work together to ensure the best outcomes for UK engineering, which is so important to a vibrant and successful economy,” said Nigel Fine, IET Chief Executive. “We will do everything we can to ensure the interests of engineers and UK engineering are represented as strongly as possible.”
Ahead of the June 23 referendum, multiple organisations representing the sector issued statements supporting the UK’s stay within the bloc. The outcome of the referendum has ushered in a period of insecurity regarding the access to markets, skills, as well as the ability to influence regulations in future.
The working group, representing interests of more than 450,000 professional engineers, pledged to lobby the government to ensure UK engineering retains its global influence.
“Never in my lifetime has there been an issue that so emphatically requires strategic collaboration across the engineering profession,” said Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
“We are rising to this challenge and pooling our resources to provide government with the best advice and access to our networks to inform its planning and leadership role. We are building a new, proactive framework for making engineering advice available to government on these critical matters for now and for the duration of the change process.”
The UK engineering sector, which is responsible for more than a half of the country’s exports, has a lot to lose from the new EU arrangements.
At a meeting last week, the organisations involved in the working group agreed to cooperate and provide evidence-based advice to government and ensure the needs of all sectors that have a dependence on engineering are represented and understood.
The group has also written a letter to the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, whose team at the European Union Unit is leading the transition planning, offering support during the negotiations.