The consequence of Brexit for Spanish contractors in the United Kingdom


The Spanish construction companies working in the English market have to be prepared to face this new phase, in which there will be many changes in the legislation concerning public tenders and bids. The companies that work in exporting building materials and workers from the sector may also be affected.

One of the principal changes of Brexit for Spanish construction is the participation of the companies in public tenders and bids in the United Kingdom. If up until the execution of Brexit these projects were ruled by European regulations, as soon as the United Kingdom is no longer a member country of the Union, new projects will be subject to English legislation, which could impose customs tariffs to foreign companies or establish requirements such as hiring local workers and suppliers. While it is true that there are these risks, Miguel Laserna, partner of financial advisory of Deloitte, points out that “the effects of Brexit for the Spanish construction sector will only be circumstantial and that the British market will continue to be a good option for investment from our country.” One of the main causes of the strong presence of Spanish companies in the English market is the decrease of public tenders in Spain.

Spanish companies from the construction sector with the highest presence in the United Kingdom are Ferrovial, FCC and Sacyr and it is estimated that the three will continue participating in the construction of large infrastructures in the English market. Currently, Ferrovial is participating in the construction project of two tunnels in Thames Tideway and Silvertow and in the development of a high-speed railway line. Also, they have planned the construction of a new runway in the Heathrow airport.

FCC also has good perspectives for their projects in the United Kingdom, among which there is the construction of two waste treatment plants in Scotland and England.

As for Sacyr, whose share of the business in the United Kingdom is lower than Ferrovial and FCC, also has a portfolio of projects with an important infrastructure in the United Kingdom, such as the Edinburgh tram.

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