04 July 2016

What does the Brexit vote of 23 June mean for highways? No one can really know: we are in unchartered territory politically and economically. There will be changes – some material and some more subtle.

However there are good reasons to be sanguine about the way the highways sector will evolve.

Some form of trade deal either based on a "Norway+" model of access to the single market or the default of a WTO arrangement with refinements is likely to emerge over 12-24 months.

Whilst that is being worked through a solid programme remains in place and demand is a reality. Those fundamentals remain unaffected, infrastructure spend has been committed and the Secretary of State has affirmed that commitment on 28 June, highlighting the importance of investing in infrastructure.

Highways regulation is less inter-connected geographically and legally at an EU level than other transport modes such as rail or aviation so will be relatively less affected. The regulation of future technologies such as connected motorways and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles will of course require international co-operation, however those trends are global – and will play out at both that level as well as at the EU level.

These are 'interesting' times but the highways sector has good reasons to be calm.

Key contact

Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson Partner

  • Infrastructure
  • Procurement and State Aid
  • Transport

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