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Examination of Witness

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:44 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Matthew Fell:

I would be happy to share with the Committee a significant piece of work that the CBI published in the summer of 2018, where we took an in-depth look at a number of business sectors around the economy. The key conclusion was that it is hard to identify any sectors that are not impacted in this way. The reason for that is the interconnected nature of business today.

To give you a small example, we have a huge challenge in this country around house building. In order to build the 300,000 homes a year that we need, we need everything from architects to electricians, bricklayers and on-site labourers. The conclusion we drew was that if you take one piece out of that, the whole project does not get done. Our findings were that you could almost extend that logic to any part of the economy. For example, take the retail sector and its dependence on the logistics sector for distribution, and so on. It is really quite hard to identify any part of the economy where, even if we think it is not directly impacted by these issues, indirectly they do have a consequence.

On the regional aspect, looking at the statistics, we have a piece of work out today that looks at analysis by region. Even if you take a really quick glance at the numbers, median wages today are somewhere between £21,000 to £24,000 in most regions of the UK outside London. That tells you that the impact is quite significant across the country.