The past few weeks have seen the most significant change to the British political and economic environment in most people’s living memory, and certainly since at least the 1970s. It doesn’t need a very sophisticated crystal ball to predict that the public vote to exit the EU is likely to prompt both immediate and long term changes in our political and economic landscape .
The popular vote seems to have caught politicians and markets, as well as at least 48% of the population, by surprise and, at the time of writing, there is little evidence of a UK Administration contingency strategy to move forward through uncharted territory. Instead, the nation is faced with a Government, elected as recently as May 2015, locked in an internal leadership battle, and the Cabinet of Her Majesty’s official Opposition spectacularly resigning, almost en masse, within hours of the Referendum result.
It will be a brave, or foolish, person who predicts the potential ramifications for society and the environment of the above upheaval. Not since the genesis of the modern UK planning system in the 1940s, and then the immense reconstruction effort to meet post war needs in the 1950s and 60s, has there been so much potential (or risk?) for change in how we make places and look after people and the environment. At a time of pressing global pressures that demand coherent and intelligent action to address social and health deprivation and climate change, the need for sustainable development has never been more important.
Whilst we at Landmark cannot say what the future will hold when the political dust settles, we acknowledge that we’re all likely to face new challenges in a fast-changing political and economic landscape. We can predict, however, that our core approach to sustainable development will remain unchanged. And Andy Murray may just win Wimbledon again.