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Civils firms back EU membership

Two in three civils firms want the UK to stay in the European Union, research has revealed.

Just 14% of those polled by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Ceca) said they wanted to leave the EU, with 18% undecided.

The recently elected Conservative government pledged in its manifesto to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership of the union by 2017.

But this latest survey comes after Institution of Civil Engineers president David Balmforth warned that a vote to leave could have serious implications for the construction industry.

Ceca chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “The results show that Ceca members are cautious about an EU referendum.

“While we recognise some challenges associated with the UK’s membership of the EU, our members broadly support staying in.

“With an ever widening skills gap, members welcome the labour market flexibility that comes from the pool of labour from the EU. Making it harder for EU citizens to help meet this challenge will not benefit the country’s economic and social  growth.

“There are also benefits that come from being part of a wider market for products and materials, and through EU support for innovation in the sector.”

Reisner added: “As the referendum date draws closer, we call on the government to enable an honest debate about the real impact upon UK plc of leaving the EU.”

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