Institutions join forces to advise government on Brexit

Britain’s engineering organisations are uniting to a near-unprecedented extent to advise the government on the best courses of action to protect industry during the anticipated negotiations concerning Britain’s exit from the European Union.

RAEng chief executive Philip Greenish
RAEng chief executive Philip Greenish

All of the 38 institutions representing the various engineering disciplines have agreed to provide evidence-based advice to the government to “ensure that the needs of all sectors that have a dependence on engineering are represented and understood.” The Royal Academy of Engineering is to act as the coordinating body for this effort, at the request of the other organisations; although in practice this will be organised through the Engineering the Future policy group.

In a statement, the RAEng pointed out that engineering underpins industries responsible for 27 per cent of the UK’s GDP and over half of its exports. “It will be important to ensure that the UK maintains its position as a centre of world class engineering research, remains embedded in setting globally recognised codes and standards, has access to the skills that industry needs and retains competitiveness in export markets,” it said.

“Never in my lifetime has there been an issue that so emphatically requires strategic collaboration across the engineering profession” Philip Greenish, RAEng

As part of this effort, EtF has established a project “to consult widely across engineering and beyond, gather evidence, analyse the risks and opportunities and produce advice to underpin a strong negotiating position and a positive result for the UK.” It has also written to Oliver Letwin, who was appointed by prime minister David Cameron to lead a European Union Unit of civil servants to handle the transition to leaving the EU, to outline its offer of support both during preparations and during the actual negotiations.

“Never in my lifetime has there been an issue that so emphatically requires strategic collaboration across the engineering profession,” commented RAEng chief executive Philip Greenish. “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.”