February 2020 UK Project Management Round Up


BREXIT, Bridges and Infrastructure in the UK



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK





Well, it has happened – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is no longer a member of the European Union.  BREXIT has happened.  What the consequences will be, no-one knows but you can bet almost anything you like that they won’t be as forecast.  Clearly, this event has overshadowed most activity in the UK project world and I will come back to it shortly.  The other major event this month has been the Government review of major infrastructure projects, so these are the two themes of this report.


After all the huffing and puffing, BREXIT has almost finally happened.  UK is no longer a member and we move into the Transition Period.  This means that nothing very much has changed in practice and we all await the start of formal negotiations, due at the beginning of March.  This is when the serious stuff really begins but we are already seeing the uninformed and wishful thinkers starting to make noises about what the final package will look like and what rules will be enforced while the real work goes on.

Image: Olivier Hoslet/AFP via Getty Images

Given the appalling track record of contract negotiation successive Governments have achieved, the prospects do not look good.  However, the background noises from various Ministers (note; not the Church kind) are positive with recognition of some key negotiating points and the fact that a straight walk out is still possible.  Key areas in the debates will be the Irish border, Gibraltar, immigration and tariffs.

The Irish border, between the Republic and Northern Ireland, is tricky for political and emotional reasons and a determination to treat the North in the same way as the rest of UK.  This seems an impossible circle to square although one suggestion is a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.  At an estimated (probably a back of the envelope variety) £15 billion – for which read about £30 – 35 billion based on recent upgrades of Government cost forecasting, this might be attractive but the two obvious sites in Scotland (Mull of Kintyre and Portpatrick) have very poor road and rail links to the rest of the country.


To read entire report, click here


How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2020).  February 2020 UK Project Management Roundup, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/pmwj90-Feb2020-Shepherd-UK-Regional-Report.pdf



About the Author


Miles Shepherd

Salisbury, UK




Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World Journal in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses.  Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.  His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair and a Fellow of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).  He is currently a Director for PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and is immediate past Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management.  He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance.  Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at miles.shepherd@msp-ltd.co.uk.

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.