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Britain Votes for Brexit but Its Business As Usual for the Planning System

24 June 2016

The votes have been counted; the nation has spoken. With a majority of approximately 1.2 million votes, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. Many involved in the planning system will be wondering what this means for the development industry and in particular whether EU-derived regulatory requirements (EIA, the Habitats Directive etc.) will be unpicked.

Whilst EU derived legislation is undeniably woven through the planning system, the key message is that, for now, it is "business as usual". As a result of the vote, there will now be a period (of at least two years) for the UK to negotiate exit terms. It is during this time that details will emerge of exactly what form Brexit will take, and whether this will be an "EU light" option (similar to Norway and Switzerland) or a complete and comprehensive breakaway under a freshly negotiated trade agreement.

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