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RICS Policy Manager in Wales – General Election Comment

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David Morgan, RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Policy Manager in Wales, says:

“This morning the Prime Minister ended months of speculation and called a General Election for 8th June. A formal motion will be put to the House of Commons tomorrow and with Labour having previously said they will support such a move, it is almost certain to obtain the two-thirds majority needed to override the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – Britain will be going to the polls.

“The motivation for calling an election is clear. With a working majority of just 17, the Government’s freedom of action is restrained and understandably the Prime Minister wants a stronger mandate as she embarks on the EU Exit Negotiations. The real question is how the economy will react to yet another political rollercoaster ride. Since the EU referendum last summer, our market surveys across the residential, commercial and construction sectors show we have largely moved on from initial negative reactions but uncertainty continues to cloud the outlook and weigh on market sentiment.  Today’s decision does very little to change that prognosis in the near term, and if anything we are likely to see continuing deferral of major investment and hiring plans.

“Whilst Theresa May’s stated intention this morning was to provide greater clarity and stability by calling a general election, in the immediate term the move inevitably puts a question mark over policy and creates further uncertainty across the built environment. It is now the responsibility of all parties to set out clear policy proposals across land, property, construction and infrastructure to ensure the UK can deliver the homes, infrastructure, factories, offices and major building projects it needs to thrive.”