On Monday MPs will have the opportunity to vote on the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS).
A third runway at Heathrow will allow the UK to remain competitive in the global economy, benefiting constituents and businesses in Ilford, in Redbridge and East London as a whole and across our capital city . In recent years airports in other parts of Europe and across the Middle East have expanded, but the UK’s only international hub airport has lagged behind and valuable opportunities for trade and investment have been lost to hub competitors such as Paris, Schipol, and Frankfurt.
Expanding Heathrow will generate tens of thousands of new jobs for our country, double apprenticeships at the airport to 10,000; as a result of the £14bn investment Heathrow is making in Britain’s future. Construction of a third runway will also give a crucial boost to the UK’s construction and steel sectors in other regions of the nation .
Crossrail will make it much easier and quicker for my constituents to benefit from expansion and travel to and from the airport, either as exporting businesses or going to work at the airport in one of the 40,000 new local jobs which are expected from expansion. Crossrail will be the first direct rail connection from East London, reducing journey times and taking more cars off the road.
Heathrow will also meet stringent standards around noise and air quality, promising to reduce the number of people affected by aircraft noise through operational and airspace changes and tackling air quality by encouraging more people to travel to the airport by public and sustainable transport.
That’s why I, alongside the TUC and major trade unions including Unite, GMB and Community; back a third runway at Heathrow.
The Labour Government of Gordon Brown originally gave the go ahead to Heathrow expansion in 2009, but there then followed years of prevarication and delay under the Cameron governments. I am delighted that the Government has now given the go ahead. Some people claim that this decision does not satisfy the Four Tests set out in 2015.
However, I believe that the plans Heathrow has set out on delivery, noise, air quality, carbon and regional growth are robust, and have passed those tests. I share this view with many other Labour MPs and with Michael Dugher, the former Labour Shadow Transport Secretary who wrote the Tests. This is only the beginning of the planning process and Parliament will hold Heathrow to account on delivering its promises.
I look forward to joining my Labour colleagues from London, the Midlands, the North East, the North West and other regions of England, from Scotland and from Wales in going through the aye lobby to support jobs and growth and a global Britain when this vote finally comes before the House on Monday evening .