Heathrow decision delayed in sign of Brexit gridlock

"I cannot now foresee an announcement until at least October," says transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin

By Civil Service World

30 Jun 2016

The Transport Secretary has confirmed that a decision on airport expansion in the south-east of England – expected within weeks – will now be delayed until October, in a sign of the impact Britain's vote to leave the European Union is likely to have on the government's domestic agenda.

Ministers launched an independent commission on airport expansion in 2012, with Heathrow and Gatwick competing to gain approval for an extra runway. A report published by the commission last July called for Heathrow to be expanded, but the government delayed its decision in December citing the need for further evaluation of the pros and cons.

Before the results of last week's EU referendum, CSW's sister site PoliticsHome.com reported that an announcement on expansion had been pencilled in for July 7. However, Patrick McLoughlin told MPs on Thursday that the decision had now been deferred.

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"I had hoped that we would be able to announce a decision on airport capacity this summer," he said. "Clearly any announcement on airport capacity would have to be made when the House is in session and being realistic, given recent events, I cannot now foresee an announcement until at least October."

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