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BT feeling ‘bite’ from Brexit says chairman Rake

Manny Pham
March 22, 2017

Necessary migrant workers will find working in the UK less financially appealing with the weakening pound

BT is noticing the hurdles risen from the UK’s plan to exit the European Union, according to chairman Sir Michael Rake.

Rake said Brexit challenges are “beginning to bite” in a Bloomberg Television interview today, particularly in recruitment for works to improve the UK’s Digital infrastructure. He said BT “depend a lot on semi-skilled workers for rolling out the fiber networks that we’re continuing to roll out.”

Secondly, with the pound expected to weaken further against the Euro when Prime Minister Theresa May invokes article 20 on March 29 – Rake claims migrant workers will find working in the UK less attractive financially, as well as socially.

“The weakness for sterling doesn’t mean in Euros and secondly people feel they’re not welcome here and that’s a problem”.

BT’s network infrastructure arm Openreach is recruiting 1,500 trainee engineers over the next eight months to advance works on infrastructure projects to May’s plan for strengthening the UK economy.

The pound hit a 31-year low in January, reaching 1.211 against the US dollar before rising to 1.217 in later trading. Rake said the pound will weaken further if the negotiations with the EU don’t go well. The pound has the potential to weaken slightly or even strengthen if negotiations lead to “proper transition period and proper trade arrangements,” he said.


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