Brexit should not get in the way of progression with Heathrow expansion, the government’s top infrastructure adviser has said.
Lord Adonis, head of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: "It's 14 years since the original decision in principle was taken to proceed with Heathrow. There really is a limit to the dither and delay we can engage in as a country when it comes to these massively important infrastructure projects."
Speaking on the BBC's Today programme, Lord Adonis said a key point that needs to be reached next year is parliament agreeing on the national policy statement; the formal mechanism allowing a planning application to come forward.
The NIC's timetable on when that decision needs to be taken says a motion needs to come forward to parliament "no later than May next year", so it's possible to crack on with building the third runway.
Lord Adonis added:
If we're going to proceed with Brexit, we've got to demonstrate that Britain is open for business.
At the moment, Heathrow is running at capacity; we can't be open for business if you can't get in and out of the country, so it's vital that MPs with a strong sense of cross party public spirit do take the Heathrow application forward.
The NIC is an independent body set up by the government to provide advice on major long-term infrastructure projects.
And Lord Adonis said he didn't think the government would lose a vote on the expansion, saying "all the indications" were that there was a cross party majority.
"I very much hope that the major political parties don't play politics with the nation's infrastructure," he said.