Lord Adonis: Brexit delay over Heathrow must end


Brexit and the UK’s humbled parliament should not hold up crucial projects such as the expansion of Heathrow airport, the command’s top infrastructure adviser has said.

There must be a limit to the “dither and pigeon-hole”, said Lord Adonis, head of the National Infrastructure Commission.

He stated the BBC that Brexit meant the UK had to be “open for business”.

The government approved a third runway at Heathrow in the end October, but it was not mentioned in the Queen’s Speech.

The National Infrastructure Commission is an uncommitted body that provides the government with impartial, expert warning on major long-term infrastructure challenges.

It was set up by former Chancellor George Osborne in 2015 to administer £100bn of spending on national projects.

Lord Adonis, a former seventh heaven secretary, has the backing of business groups including the CBI in his effort to press fathers for action.

He told the BBC’s Today programme: “At the moment, Heathrow is running at responsibility. We cannot be open for business if you can’t get in and out of the country.

“It’s 14 years since the earliest decision in principle was taken to proceed with Heathrow.

“There deep down is a limit to the dither and delay that we can engage in as a country when it meet up to these massively important national infrastructure projects.”

Lord Adonis also buzzed for the government to press ahead with plans for a new £18bn nuclear power train station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, despite last week’s report from the Federal Audit Office calling it “a risky and expensive project”.

He rejected ideas that the government should rethink the project, saying: “All that ‘weigh again’ would do is put in jeopardy a large proportion of our electricity generating volume for the future.”

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