The first post-Brexit report into the independent Airport Commission study has found that expanding Heathrow could boost UK GDP by up to £24,500 per family – almost double the value of expanding Gatwick.
The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), says Heathrow’s connectivity and cargo capacity mean the expanded airport would be an “engine of Brexit growth, driving opportunity up and down the UK”.
The report concludes that following the Brexit vote, if the Prime Minister opts for Gatwick, it “could be a political and economic gamble that could be costly for decades.”
The Cebr report also says that Heathrow expansion could boost the UK economy by as much as £24,500 of GDP per family – £11,195 more than the equivalent figure for Gatwick, and that only Heathrow expansion has the potential to create over 100,000 new jobs outside of London and the South East.
Vicky Pryce, Cebr’s Chief Economic Adviser commented: “Airport expansion has been a thorny issue for governments of every political hue. What this analysis shows is the centrality of Heathrow to the British economy. There can be few more important decisions the Government must make, especially after the EU referendum. The price of making the wrong decision by the Prime Minister will be a political and economic gamble that could be costly for decades.”
“If we are to succeed outside of the European Union, every choice the Government makes must aim to deliver a stronger, more competitive economy and seek to encourage growth in the regions, as well as in London. On both those measures, this report shows Heathrow’s future will be crucial in reducing the uncertainties of a post-Brexit world.”
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport added: “Heathrow connects cargo and people from all of Britain to new markets around the world. Gatwick mainly connects London and Southern England to European destinations. This report shows that expanding Heathrow will help strengthen an airport that works for the whole of the UK, not just London and the South.
“Heathrow is a political and economic commitment to make Brexit stronger and fairer. That is why businesses support Heathrow expansion, the Unions support Heathrow expansion and an overwhelming majority of MPs support Heathrow expansion. It is now time to make the right choice for Brexit success and expand Heathrow.”