The 38 organisations representing the engineering profession have agreed to cooperate to offer government evidence-based advice in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, to secure the best possible outcome for the UK.
As the Journal went to press, the organisations were due to meet to nominate the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) to lead this work.
The result of the EU referendum will have a material effect on UK engineering, which accounts for around 27% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and more than half of its exports. It is critical that the government’s plan for withdrawing from the EU is informed by a clear understanding of potential solutions, opportunities and risks from the perspective of UK engineering, said the group.
It added that the UK must maintain its position as a centre of world-class engineering research, remain embedded in setting globally recognised codes and standards, have access to the skills that industry needs, and retain its competitiveness in export markets.
A project has been established to: consult 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.
The RAE has sent a letter outlining its offer of support to the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – the department charged with leading the transition planning.
Philip Greenish CBE, RAE chief executive, said: ‘Never in my lifetime has there been an issue that so emphatically requires strategic collaboration across the engineering profession.’