Government urged to move forward with Heathrow expansion

Government urged to move forward with Heathrow expansion

Business groups have urged British prime minister Theresa May to stick to a planned timetable for a vote on expansion at Heathrow.

A number of business lobby groups have signed a letter saying the government needs to take action on a proposed third runway at the airport.

“It was 50 years ago this week that the then government set up the Roskill Commission to look at airport expansion in the south-east.

“Half a century later, the need to get on with expanding the UK’s airport capacity is more urgent than ever.

“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,” read the letter.

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Signatories branded themselves the voice of businesses across the UK, representing large corporations to small SMEs.

The groups that put their name to the letter were the Confederation of British Industry, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, the EEF - The Manufacturers’ Organisation, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and airport expansion lobby group London First.

The business organisations that signed the letter have all come out in favour of Heathrow expansion in the past.

The letter adds that the UK is losing ground to competition from European airports.

“The world is waiting for Britain’s businesses, but it won’t wait forever.

“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,” added the letter.

A vote on expansion at Heathrow is expected in parliament over the summer.