Eastern European migrants have been a crucial part of the housebuilding workforce in parts of Britain, while shares in the major housebuilders have sagged at the prospect of an exit.
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With just under two weeks to go to the EU referendum the Brexit and Bremain campaigns are at fever pitch. Whether it is house prices, immigration, taxes or pensions there appear to be balancing arguments on each issue and each is determined to persuade us that we will suffer a catastrophe if we do not make the "right" decision. The house building issue is a prime example of this. Brexit campaigners argue that we will control our borders by leaving the EU and this will solve the housing crisis. The Bremain campaigners say that construction relies heavily on EU migrant workers and that they are needed to build the number of houses and flats this country needs. It is a chicken and egg situation - which came first, migrants travelling to the UK putting pressure on the market (if you agree with the Brexit argument), or the pressure on the market which created the need for construction, and attracted migrant workers? Whichever side you believe, both arguments ignore the other factors involved, such as non-EU migration, government and planning policies and economic stability. The problem with many of the arguments is that they are untested and in reality we will only know what will happen if we actually leave the EU. We are in a unique situation and the rest of the world is watching us closely to see what happens next.
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