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Fri June 18 2021

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Danish contractor fears Brexit

14 Jun 16 The chief executive of Denmark's Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) has said that he is “crossing his fingers” for the UK to stay in the European Union after the referendum on 23rd June.

Anders Heine Jensen on Danish TV programme 21 Søndag
Anders Heine Jensen on Danish TV programme 21 Søndag

In an interview with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, BWSC chief executive Anders Heine Jensen said that if the UK leaves the European Union it could mean a reduction in business for his company.

BWSC develops, builds, operates and owns high-performance biomass, biogas and diesel power plants. It currently has eight projects in the UK, including the recently completed straw-fuelled Brigg Renewable Energy Plant in Lincolnshire.

Many of Britain’s biggest construction companies are in fact subsidiaries of mainland European companies, including Skanska, Amey (Ferrovial), Bouygues, BAM and Vinci.

Between January 2015 and April 2016, the UK’s 10 biggest construction companies with EU headquarters outside of Britain, won a combined £7.3bn worth of construction contracts in the UK.

Economist Michael Dall from construction intelligence firm Barbour ABI, said: “These 10 companies already have well established UK arms, however an EU referendum could bring about a change in the business environment, which may make these multi-national businesses potentially think about their future construction pipelines in the UK market.

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“If the referendum is in favour of Brexit, there could be possible ramifications for these 10 companies, alongside other EU based construction firms who work in the UK. It could also cause potential issues for big ticket projects such as HS2, who have EU based companies launching million pound bids to work on the development.”

However, Graham Cash, chief executive of BAM in the UK, told the Financial Times back in March that he did not expect his company to be negatively impacted by a vote for Britain to leave the UK.

“In our day to day life we’re a British company operating in a British market – so we’d just get on with it,” Mr Cash said.

You can see the Danish television interview with BWSC chief executive Anders Heine Jensen here but unless you speak Danish you won't necessarily understand it.

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