Commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on the UK’s negotiating priorities for leaving the EU, Philip Greenish CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“We welcome the greater clarity provided by the Prime Minister on the government’s 12 core objectives for Brexit negotiations. Clarity is really important for the UK engineering and technology businesses that are so crucial to the UK’s economic future, and which contribute some 50% of UK exports by value. Their needs and the socio-economic benefits that they deliver must remain high on the government’s agenda in the period ahead.

 “In October, an alliance of the UK's professional engineering organisations1, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering published a report, Engineering a future outside the EU. This highlighted the challenge that could be presented if a future UK-EU arrangement restricted access to skilled engineers from the EU who are essential to maintaining the world-class quality and success of UK engineering companies and universities. The UK already faces a serious engineering skills crisis, which could be exacerbated if access to the European engineering workforce becomes more restricted.

“The Academy was therefore pleased to hear that the government’s objectives include continuing to attract the brightest and the best to work or study in Britain, and that the benefits of international talent to our country were recognised. Many of the engineering and infrastructure projects that have shaped our nation and built world-leading businesses would not have been possible without skills provided by other countries.

“We look forward to hearing further details about the ambition to continue to collaborate with European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives, and develop new trade details and relationships. It is important that any future arrangement allows the UK to continue to import the skills it needs and collaborate internationally without introducing damaging costs and delays to our industries and research base.”

Notes for editors

  1. The engineering profession’s response to the EU referendum was being published by the Royal Academy of Engineering through Engineering the future (EtF).

    Engineering the Future is an alliance of professional engineering institutions and national organisations that between them represent 450,000 professional engineers. Through EtF, the engineering profession speaks with one voice on engineering issues of national and international importance. It provides independent – and expert – engineering advice to government. It promotes understanding of the critical contribution that engineering makes to national policy and to addressing the grand challenges.

    EtF membership comprises the UK’s 35 engineering institutions plus EngineeringUK, the Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering. The full list of members is as follows:

For more information, contact:

Jane Sutton
T: 020 7766 0636
E: jane.sutton@raeng.org.uk