Times speculation on runway decision, Cameron, referendum, Boris, legal challenges and reshuffles
The Times believes that Heathrow and Gatwick made their final submissions to the DfT last week, and government officials say they are ready for a Cabinet decision. The environmental problems at Heathrow have meant there are very real dangers of successful legal challenges, not least from local councils. Heathrow recently put forward some pledges of how it could meet its environmental challenges, but they were over-optimistic and do not bear careful scrutiny. The question is whether the government thinks it could get away with a decision that is neither considered to be a bad one, or one on which they could face legal embarrassment. The Times believes the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, has told David Cameron that he should not postpone the decision again. There is likely to be a window of opportunity for a runway decision, after an EU referendum Remain victory and before a “reconciliation reshuffle” probably in September, to reunite Conservatives. The Times believes if Boris is given a Cabinet post before a runway decision, he will make it difficult. So it would be easier to decide on a runway, before including Boris. However, there are a lot of other issues to be dealt with between 24th June and 21st July, including an anti-obesity strategy, policies to counter Islamist extremism and a vote on Trident.
Whitehall increases pressure to approve Heathrow runway
By Francis Elliott, Political Editor (The Times)
Whitehall officials have cleared all the hurdles for a third runway at Heathrow and are putting David Cameron under pressure to make a decision days after the EU referendum.
Heathrow and its rival Gatwick completed their final submissions to the Department for Transport last week and well-placed sources said that Mr Cameron would be told by officials that he could now approve either expansion.
Mr Cameron will almost certainly be forced to resign if he loses the Brexit vote, and will face an urgent need to start healing his party if he wins. Downing Street is preparing to bring forward the vote on Trident, an issue on which the Conservatives are united and Labour divided, to start to mend fences in the week after the referendum.
Full article at