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Brexit would lead to shortage of construction staff, says Barratt boss

David Thomas, chief executive of the UK’s largest homebuilder, says an EU exit would impair industry’s ability to build houses.

Britain’s departure from the EU would hit housebuilders’ workforces hard and exacerbate the housing crisis, the boss of the UK’s largest homebuilder has said.

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “We would much prefer that the UK stays within the EU. We have a significant part of our labour force, particularly within the London market, coming from continental Europe – the free movement of labour in the European market is a positive from our point of view.”

A vote to leave the EU would mean “even more pressure in terms of skills shortages”, he argued. “If you ask any housebuilder what their main challenge is, they say it’s labour availability.”

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