The UK has voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum. The vote was split with 51.9% of the turnout opting to leave, and 48.1% voting to remain. The national turnout was 72.2%.

The UK Construction Equipment Association (CEA) said its members would be “surprised and disappointed” by the result.

Rob Oliver, CEA chief executive, said, “All CEA members will now have to contend with a further period of uncertainty which will be bad for business.

“International companies will have to make some key strategic decisions on future investment in the UK and our exporter members will have to contend with exchange rate volatility which is already impacting on the CEA's overseas trade promotion programme.

“Our partners within CECE (the Committee of European Construction Equipment) I know are deeply disappointed by the turn of events but the CEA remains committed to continue to work with CECE as future access to the EU market remains pivotal.”

And Monika Slowikowska, founder of residential property developer Golden Houses Developments, said, “The European Structural Investment Fund (EUSIF), European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (Jessica) have, between them, contributed billions towards regeneration projects across the UK. As one of the EU’s biggest net beneficiaries of these schemes, we stand to lose a great deal if we leave the EU.

“We now also risk becoming an unattractive proposition for foreign investors from the other 27 EU countries. This is because increased travel costs and import and export tariffs could complicate the existing simple arrangements.”

Look to the future

Meanwhile, JCB chairman Lord Bamford said, “In light of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the business community now needs to look to the future.

"The UK is the world’s fifth largest trading nation. We therefore have little to fear from leaving the EU. European markets are important to many UK businesses, including JCB, and this will not change.

"As a consequence of this momentous decision, we should look ahead to opportunities to trade more freely with the rest of the world, as well as building on existing trading relationships with customers and suppliers in Europe.”

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