The leaders of business groups representing over half a million employers across the UK have called on the govenrnment tohold a vote on the future of Heathrow as soon as possible.
The leaders of the CBI, British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, Federation of Small Businesses, the EEF, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and London First have sent a letter to the Prime Minister urging her to table a vote on Heathrow expansion.
The letter sets out ho the organisations continue to support the expansion of Heathrow. On the 50th anniversary of the Roskill Commission – the first set up by a government to look at airport expansion in the south-east – they say that half a century later, “the need to get on with expanding the UK’s airport capacity is more urgent than ever”. They say as Brexit approaches, Heathrow expansion is crucial to making sure the UK remains “an outward looking trading nation and is well-equipped to compete on the world stage”.
They say Frankfurt, Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle airports are pulling ahead at the UK’s expense as the major port in the country is constrained forcing global investors and trade to go elsewhere in Europe.
They say that there are many unknowns for businesses surrounding Britain’s future trading arrangements, but “what is absolutely certain is that our economic success depends on securing Heathrow’s future as a leading international airport”.
They say if Heathrow isn’t expanded, with cargo capacity on key export routes to pivotal trading markets such as Shanghai, Delhi and Dubai virtually full, that over time British businesses will be denied the increased cargo capacity and long-haul routes they need.
They conclude: “If we don’t do this now after decades of debate, Britain will not become the global trading powerhouse we know it can be. We therefore urge the Government to crack on with the vote on Heathrow expansion as soon as possible. Doing so will unlock the crucial new infrastructure for Britain to secure a strong economy – with trade, growth and skills – at such a critical time for businesses across the UK”.