Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to Baroness Warsi’s comments on BBC Question Time and reports that the Government is considering reopening the Coalition Agreement on aviation policy, said:
“The Government has muddled along for nearly two years without even the hint of an aviation policy, despite the importance of international connectivity to our economic competitiveness. Now they have gone from one extreme to the other with a new policy briefed almost daily, each new position contradicting the last. We started the week with the Prime Minister apparently persuaded of the case for a new airport in the Thames Estuary, a position that lasted a full 24 hours before being abandoned, and we end the week with new runways at Gatwick or Stansted being put back on the agenda despite the Coalition Agreement.
“British businesses cannot afford for this chaos and confusion to continue until the next election. Baroness Warsi was right to say on the BBC’s Question Time that she backs Labour’s offer to work together on a long term cross-party strategy on aviation. The Prime Minister should say if he agrees with the Chair of his party and instruct his Transport Secretary to finally respond to the offer we have made for the good of the country. Let’s get on with agreeing how best to deliver the additional aviation capacity that is needed, alongside tough new rules on emissions, before we fall behind our European competitors.”