Brexit vote sparks new Heathrow expansion dispute


Heathrow has claimed that the vote to leave the EU has made its case for a new runway at the airport ‘stronger than ever before’ but opponents have said it cast doubt on whether it ‘will ever be given the green light’.

Prior to the referendum, it was reported that prime minister David Cameron, who resigned in the wake of the referendum result, had planned to announce a decision on runway expansion in south east England early next month.

Jets at Heathrow Airport

Following the vote, a Heathrow spokesperson said: ‘With today’s result, the case for expansion at Heathrow is stronger than ever before. Only Heathrow can help Britain be the great trading nation connecting all regions of the UK to the world. It is the keystone that connects businesses of every size to markets across the world as the UK’s only global hub airport.’

‘Global connections are critical for a new outward-looking UK to help our businesses and economy to thrive - and with expansion we can deliver up to 40 new destinations on top of the 83 we serve now.

‘We are confident that the Government will make the right choice for the future of the UK, putting the interests of the country first.’

However, John Stewart, chair of HACAN, which campaigns against Heathrow expansion, said: ‘Brexit must cast doubts on whether a third runway at Heathrow will ever be given the green light. The prime minister and the chancellor have lost the fight of the lives. “Outers” like Boris Johnson, who is fiercely opposed to Heathrow expansion, have won. At the very least, a decision on a new runway must now be up in the air.’

‘A new Prime Minister would want to look again at its desirability, its deliverability and the cost its related rail and road infrastructure would impose on the public purse.

‘The Government had pencilled in 7 or 8 July to announce its runway decision. It may confirm its intentions over the next few days but it would surprising if a lame-duck prime minister risked further splits within the Conservative Party by making such a controversial decision just weeks before he leaves office.’

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