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MPA lobbies government over Brexit aims

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World Cement,

The Chief Executive of the UK Minerals Products Association (MPA) is urging the UK government to take a more collaborative approach to Brexit, working with industry and business to achieve a positive outcome to the Brexit process.

In a letter to Greg Clark MP, the minister in charge of business, energy, and industrial strategy, Nigel Jackson pushed for the industry’s views on both the built environment and Brexit to be more fully taken into account.

“Now, more than ever, government, industry, and business need to work together in a pragmatic fashion to ensure that we get the right deal post-Brexit, which ensure that confidence is boosted to drive investment, growth, and improve productivity,” Jackson said in a statement.

But Jackson also expressed concern that, to date, the view of business and industry had not seemed to have made much headway at the top of government, despite reasonable engagement between government departments, officials, and industry.

A key aspect of the MPA’s concerns over Brexit is the continuing of access to “the labour and skills we need”, Jackson continued. The control of immigration has been one of the main drivers of the UK government’s plan to seek a ‘hard Brexit’ outside of the single market and customs union, leading to some worry that access to EU workers may be curtailed.

According to the MPA’s position paper on Brexit, the minerals products industry employs “significant number of EU citizens”, while the construction industry is “heavily reliant on EU citizens to deliver existing levels of industry workload.” The UK government has so far refused to guarantee EU citizens currently living the UK will be allowed to stay post-Brexit.

“There is much at stake in enabling the mineral products industry to supply the construction industry with the minerals products upon which it relies,” concluded Jackson.

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