Brexit, or rather known as the possible British Exit of the European Union, could damage engineering in a big way, say industry experts. Engineering UK has heard that a vote for Brexit could lead to a slump in "vital research funding" and add to a shortage of skilled engineering workers in Britain.
According to The Telegraph, companies such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Caterpillar are behind the vote not to leave the European Union due to the companies saying it will cause "unknown and unquantifiable transition risks."
Naomi Climer, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology said: "British engineering is deeply integrated with global markets and companies. If Britain votes to the leave the EU, the period of uncertainty about the terms on which access to these markets would be granted would a threat to the sector. The interests of engineering and technology may be best served by the UK remaining within the EU, and we are calling for urgent discussion on the impact of an exit decision on a sector that is so vital to our country's economy."
The vote has been set for the 23rd of June, 2016. The companies who have encouraged a 'NO' vote collectively employ 100,000 skilled engineering professionals. The companies maintain that job losses would occur on the back of the decision to leave the European Union. In the letter that the companies drafted together, they say: "While the UK could tackle this problem by introducing a fast-track visa process for engineers and technologists, it is unclear how this would sit alongside the tighter border controls anticipated following an exit from the EU."
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is adamant that consideration must be made for the scenario of a British exit. He told SkyNews: "We asked for very simple things, like people coming here should have a job offer before they arrive or if they can't get a job within six months then they should go back. Those very simple ideas."
The worry is that skilled engineers will not be able to make their way into Britain to address an engineering shortage due to the European Union exit which would tighten up border control and make it harder for those international professionals to make it into the country.