With the Brexit negotiations seemingly never ending, British Property Federation Members have said in a recent poll that uncertainty remains a top concern for property leaders, who have little confidence that the Government will secure a successful outcome from negotiations.

The latest poll conducted by the PBF showed less than a third of those surveyed (29%) are confident the Government will secure a successful outcome with Brexit negotiations while 58% are not confident.

Some 73% of property leaders believe the uncertainty caused by EU exit negotiations possesses the top challenge to their business in the next twelve months. However, the survey did show that “confidence in the UK real estate sector in the next twelve months”, has stabilised over the past two years, although it is still somewhat lower than pre-referendum.

The robust local commercial property market should hopefully insulate us in Pennine Lancs from some of the fall out and if a Brexit settlement meant a more re-balanced market with the emphasis moving away from the south east that could play in our favour over the longer term. That said, there are some indications locally that companies are holding back on major investments until there is some clarity on Brexit. This strikes me as a genuine area of concern for us in Lancashire, due to the inter-continental nature of supply chains for our significant manufacturing and engineering base.

We have to remain confident in the UK’s economic prospects over the next twelve months and take advantage where we can of the two year negotiation period Article 50 allows us.

The Government needs to prioritise a UK that is open for business, both in terms of finance and investment in development and infrastructure, as well as in terms of human capital. Then we can hopefully capitalise on the benefits of Brexit, rather than the disasters that are quite understandably being predicted in some quarters.

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