Lord Kerslake has warned the construction industry to buckle up in the face of the UK crashing out of the European Union.

The former civil service supremo who is Chair of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, said a chaotic No Deal Brexit would place a huge burden on builders and developers.

Lord Kerslake said: “Be First is looking to build around 2,700 affordable homes in Barking and Dagenham over the next five years.

“It’s why we’re asking builders who want to work for us to make sure they are ready if we crash out of the EU.

“We are determined to deliver on our mission to build a better Barking and Dagenham and provide truly affordable homes for ordinary Londoners.”

Lord Kerslake was speaking after Be First inserted a clause in its development framework to make sure any contractors wishing to work for the East London regen giant can demonstrate they have managed the risks of a No Deal scenario.

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “The implications of a “No Deal” scenario for the construction of new affordable housing are extremely serious.

“The impact of further falls in the pound, the disruption of supply chains and an exodus of European workers should not be underestimated.

“As a result, we are asking all contractors bidding to be on our frame work for major construction works to demonstrate how they will mitigate and manage the problems which are likely to arise.”

And Be First is also requiring contractors to demonstrate how they train and use local labour.

Pat Hayes said: “It’s vital UK construction takes a more sustainable view of how to develop a skilled local labour force.

“It’s why we are asking companies who are tendering for business with us to show how they will train and recruit local labour.”