I appreciate that this issue generates strong views on both sides.
You raise several important points, particularly about the potential for Heathrow expansion to create jobs and promote economic growth. I would like to assure you that I recognise the need for additional airport capacity in the south east of England.
On 5 June 2018, the Government presented its final proposal for an airports national policy statement (NPS), which outlined its support for plans to deliver a new runway at Heathrow, with a target date of 2026.
Parliament debated this issue on Monday 25 June 2018 and I can confirm, after much consideration and after examining the final proposal in great detail, I decided to vote against a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
The Opposition has always argued that any airport expansion must meet four tests – that it can effectively deliver on capacity demands, that noise and air quality issues are fully addressed, that the UK’s climate change obligations are met in full and that growth across the country is supported. I believe we owe it to future generations to ensure that these factors are dealt with in exactly the right way.
After careful consideration, I do not believe that these tests have been met. I believe that Heathrow expansion is incompatible with our environmental and climate change obligations and cannot be achieved without unacceptable impacts on local residents. Furthermore, the improved connectivity to the regions of the UK cannot be guaranteed and there are unanswered questions on the costs to the public purse and the deliverability of the project.
I agree that we must support vital investment in our country’s transport infrastructure, but every investment must be tested on whether it provides real value for money and sustainability. Therefore, I believe that the current proposal for a third runway at Heathrow fails this test.