The morning after the vote before

Brexit has won the Referendum with 51.9% of the vote.

At the time of writing, David Cameron has said that he will step down as Prime Minister in time for the Conservative party conference. Events are moving rapidly, so we’re not going to attempt any analysis today – we’re more likely to be glued to the news channels ourselves.

Our readers are likely to ask is what does Brexit mean for HS2.

Already today, Construction News reports that

However, a senior figure in the Department for Transport insists that the top team, who were mainly for Remain, have not made any emergency plans to cancel or limit the scope of projects.

The source says: “Everything has been geared towards carrying on as normal. Brexit has not been mentioned at all [in terms of projects]; we just keep going on projects we’re doing at the budgets set – there’s been no discussion of cancelling in any meetings.”

If true, this again shows the kind of arrogance we’ve seen from the DfT over the years: there is only one way and they are not going to consider even the possibility of an alternative.

However, the no change view is not shared by all, with Construction News going on to say:

Another infrastructure expert broadly echoes this argument, but adds that the government will feel even more heat on political milestones for controversial projects such as the £55.7bn High Speed 2 line.

Wanting to avoid yet more public spats, the source suggests ministers could delay the more contested aspects of such schemes.

Rob Holden chairs High Speed 1 – better known as the Channel Tunnel Railway – and is a non-executive director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. He says an emergency Budget “has to” consider the scope of multi-billion-pound projects such as HS2.

We’d also like to make another point – also raised by a variety of commentators, including Chuka Umunna, MP, and Angela Eagle, MP, last night – is that politicians have lost touch with ordinary people, how they are thinking and what they want done.

We’ve seen this with HS2, where politicians and HS2 Ltd seem more interested in getting their own way rather than working out how to build the railway the country needs (as we reported on Wednesday, they still don’t know how they will use released WCML capacity after HS2 is built).

We’re going to be keeping an eye on developments, – or getting to sleep after a long night watching the results roll in.

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3 comments to “The morning after the vote before”
  1. The comments by McLoughlin that HS2 and the 3rd. runway are too important to cancel are hot air. The 3rd. runway decision has been deferred, and HS2 is under acute scrutiny, and about time. The HS2 business case based apparently on Crewe to Old Oak Common is now even more ludicrous. Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister needs to get a National Transport Strategy under way, then appropriate decisions can be made, not just an idea dreamed up with no rationale.

  2. Pingback: Cameron Old Guard 0 – Plebs United 1 | HS2 and the environment

  3. Focus on taking more time to petition before the Lords please.

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