The new prime minister pledged to take the UK out of the European Union by the deadline of 31 January 2020 with a withdrawal deal if it can be agreed, but without one if necessary.
For businesses and members of this profession across the country, the uncertainty continues. However, I want to reassure you that despite the political turmoil, we have not only been tracking developments concerning Brexit, but also continuing to influence the government in areas of critical domestic importance to the profession and public interest, including the recent review into the regulation of residential agents.
The resounding sentiment of frustration from the profession operating in the UK has been clearly expressed through RICS market surveys which we share widely, including with the Bank of England which often includes RICS insights in its reports. The market surveys continue to highlight the significant uncertainty in that Brexit is having on our land and property markets across the UK.
If you do not complete the market survey for your sector, I would urge you to do so. The more chartered surveyors who respond to the surveys and leave comments, the better we can influence government.
Like many of you will be, we have taken our own steps as an organisation to prepare for any uncertainty that a 'no-deal' could bring. We have been taking a prudent approach to our revenue and cost assumptions and have been communicating frequently with staff who maybe personally affected.
The government and RICS has published a great deal of helpful information online. I would urge you to look at resources made available on the government's website: Prepare your business or organisation for Brexit. The Office of Budget Responsibility have also set up to provide independent analysis of UK public finances also posts clear economic analysis.
An important question for the profession will be how will Brexit affect a person's ability to work within the European Union and what will be the position regarding qualifications and standards?
RICS position is unequivocal: the standards that RICS promotes, our professional qualifications and our independently-led regulation will continue to be recognised by the market and are unaffected by the terms of the UK's exit from the EU.
We took the step early on to work closely with other professional bodies within the built environment and formed a Joint Institutes Brexit Group with RTPI, RIBA and CIOB which has written to government to highlight matters ranging from skill shortages to mutual recognition of professional qualifications.
In our dealings with UK government, RICS has raised issues that will be important to maintain a vibrant and successful built environment. Concerns have been expressed about access to skilled labour, workforce migration, maintenance of standards, research excellence and investment in infrastructure. We have also sought assurance on certain technical aspects of mutual recognition of professional qualifications and as we know more, we will let you know.
In the coming weeks and months as we head to the 31 October deadline, RICS will continue to provide relevant Brexit updates online in the hope that in these uncertain and unchartered waters, we are able to share the best information possible with you so that you are as prepared as you can be. Our role as a respected professional body is not to side with any political argument, but to look out for the public interest, seek information that is relevant to maintaining a vibrant built and natural environment and do our best to equip you for whatever government politics brings.
In the meantime, if you have any specific queries about qualifications, standards and RICS services, please get in touch.
Chief Executive Officer
Sean has been Chief Executive of RICS since September 2010. Sean has transformed RICS from a traditional, trusted UK mark of professionalism built on high standards and ethics to one of international recognition, influence and thought leadership. From governments to financial institutions, RICS’ standards, qualifications and thought leadership are respected and recognised. As well as advancing RICS’ strategy and goals, Sean is also a passionate champion for greater diversity and inclusion within the profession.