Large-scale national projects in a time of Brexit August 4, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Another day another piece. This time in the Guardian on how ‘multi-billion pound projects’ look like they may be scrapped in the UK due to Brexit.
Billions of pounds’ worth of public projects will have to be scrapped by Theresa May because of a “tidal wave” of pressures from an impending Brexit, the head of Whitehall’s official spending watchdog has said.
The comptroller and auditor general of the National Audit Office, Sir Amyas Morse, said the government would have to treat leaving the EU as an “emergency” and that government departments would be forced to decide which plans could be cancelled or suspended.
Which projects would they be now?
Major projects such as the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, a third runway at Heathrow and the ambitious HS2 rail project would have to be reassessed as the government decides which can be done without, he told the Guardian.
Others which will be re-examined include the £7bn refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster, the London commuter line Crossrail 2 and former chancellor George Osborne’s northern powerhouse strategy.
Some of these may be problematic for a variety of reasons – may indeed be better not going ahead, but the broader pattern is clear. And all this in a time of Tory rule. For the very process of Brexit means that:
…government resources, including civil servants, IT professionals and legal advisers, being directed towards managing Brexit and therefore away from delivering major infrastructure projects.
One thing that is striking is how even relatively small amounts of money have been useful in assisting research, projects and so on, as noted yesterday.
What’s telling is that in a range of areas, beyond the immediately political or economic policy oriented we now see a pattern emerging of Brexit leading to the removal of EU funding and a consequent slow down or rupture in relation to their continuance.
It hardly needs to be said that these impacts are directly upon workers in all these areas. That they will lead to job losses, lower economic activity and – obviously, increased isolation from workers in the rest of Europe. And all that in a state where the left is marginal (and facing huge stresses, some, as we know inflicted by itself, or those who purport to be on the left), unions are under attack and in retreat and with no apparent route to state power any time soon.