01 July 2016

Since Britain’s vote to leave the EU, the focus has been on the economic impact and the ensuing political turmoil. But a series of major government projects, urgent decisions and on-going policy priorities have been thrown into uncertainty. Emma Norris looks at what has happened to them.

A number of delays to government business have already been announced. Ministers have pushed back the decision on a third runway at Heathrow until at least October, and the contracting process for the Health and Work Programme which was due to begin this month has been delayed until August. As political and economic uncertainty continues, we expect further interruptions to government business. The reasons for uncertainty and delay are not uniform.

Economic instability is causing jitters for a range of infrastructure projects – there are rumours EDF will pull out of Hinkley Point C, the nuclear power station being built in Somerset and it is possible the £50bn High Speed 2 project could be delayed or reshaped. Some decisions – like airport expansion – are politically controversial and require new leadership before they can be made. A number of policies have benefitted from individual political sponsorship – like Cameron’s ‘life chances’ agenda or Gove’s prison reform programme - and must wait to see if they can find new champions.

Others will simply be deprioritised as Brexit swallows political and official time – a risk that the often-delayed Childhood Obesity Strategy could now face. And some projects will be on hold because they rely on European funding or partnerships: 10GW of electricity interconnectors are planned with the continent by 2030 and some of this relies on European Investment Bank money. Over the following days, weeks and months, the Institute will be monitoring the status of existing policies and projects to see how Brexit is affecting them. Click on the table below to see our first take on this - it captures what has already been announced and speculation on what might happen next. Keep watching for further updates.

Major projects table

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