UK utilities sector quadruples investments in EU since brexit vote

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The UK utilities sector has quadrupled its investments in the EU since the Brexit vote, while earnings have increased just a quarter, analysis of the latest ONS data has revealed. 

UK outward investment positions by electricity, gas, water and waste firms were £1.3 billion in 2015, the year before the Brexit referendum, but increased to £5.1 billion in 2018 – up 292%, according to analysis of the latest statistics1 by R&D tax relief specialist Catax.

However, over the same period, the sector’s earnings on UK investment positions in the EU have risen by only a quarter (23%) — up from £107 million in 2015 to £132 million three years on.

Meanwhile, the UK telecoms industry saw earnings on its investments in the EU double after the Brexit vote, rising from £1.8 billion in 2015 to £3.5 billion in 2017, before falling back to £2.5 billion in 2018.

Mark Tighe, chief executive of R&D tax relief specialists Catax, said, “For the past few years, we’ve heard horror stories about what would happen to investment in the UK following the vote to leave the EU.

“UK utilities firms haven’t shied away from investments in the EU, and now they will be hoping that earnings catch up.

“That would be good news for British industry as the country starts to set its own course on the journey to become a new outward-looking nation outside the EU.”