House builder adds to post-election pressure over Brexit
Business groups have been voicing concerns over the outcome of the poll and raising fresh concerns over the approach to Brexit.
By John-Paul Ford Rojas, Business Reporter
House builder Crest Nicholson became the latest business voice to pile pressure on the Government over its Brexit strategy after the election – and warned of uncertainty hitting the housing market.
The group said pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of April grew 5% to £76.2m and "delivered solid foundations for another year of growth" though sounded a note of caution following Thursday's poll.
Chief executive Stephen Stone said the hung Parliament resulting from last week's election "may introduce some uncertainty on the short term".
However he added: "We expect the new build housing market to remain robust."
The group also sounded a warning on the need for EU citizens to continue to come freely to Britain amid warnings of an urgent need for more homes to be built.
Chief operating officer Patrick Bergin said: "They're critical to any hopes of delivering increased housing supply."
"For the time being, we need to ensure that flow of labour continues."
His comments came as a leading manufacturing group said access to the single market should be put firmly back on the agenda following the election result.
The EEF, which represents 20,000 manufacturing firms, said that unless a more pro-business stance was taken in Brexit negotiations, companies could be forced to switched business away from the UK.
It said that before the election almost one in four manufacturers were already reviewing their strategy.
EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: "The new Government's priorities must radically re-focus Brexit negotiations around trade and close co-operation ensuring a smooth exit from the EU.
"There are numerous ways of establishing a new relationship with the EU and, given we've just wasted a year, the Government needs to move away from its previous rhetoric and start repairing relations with EU partners.
"This means putting access to the single market and a form of customs union at the heart of a revised strategy."
The Institute of Directors said on Monday that the hung Parliament had triggered a "dramatic drop" in business confidence.
Meanwhile, ratings agency Moody's warned that the UK's credit rating was at risk of being downgraded after the "inconclusive" result.
Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, told Sky News that the Government was now "listening a lot harder" to demands for a "business-friendly Brexit".