· Sir Martin Sorrell and over 170 of Britain’s leading businesses urge Government to seize economic opportunity of expanded Heathrow
§ Government backing for Heathrow expansion – a £16bn privately funded ready-to-go infrastructure project – will secure Britain’s place as an outward looking trading nation and send a clear message that Britain is open for business
· Letter comes as fresh polling reveals overwhelming Parliamentary support for Heathrow expansion
Over 170 of Britain’s business leaders have urged the Government to inject growth into the British economy by progressing Heathrow’s expansion plans.
Writing to the Transport Secretary on the first anniversary of the Airports Commission’s clear recommendation for an expanded Heathrow, the signatories highlighted the opportunity the Government has to unleash a new Victorian Age of infrastructure.
In a time of economic uncertainty, Britain needs ready-to-go infrastructure projects that will enhance growth and reassure investor confidence. Heathrow expansion will help restore that confidence and inject £16bn of private sector money into a massive infrastructure project, creating jobs, securing growth across the UK and sending a clear message to the world that Britain is open for business.
Responding to the Transport Secretary’s announcement to hand over a decision on Heathrow expansion to his successor, Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive, West London Business joined with John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s Chief Executive, in saying that a third runway must be a part of the Government’s Brexit plan.
Andrew Dakers, commented:
“Today’s announcement of further delay is incredibly disappointing for West London, the wider UK business community and those seeking the employment opportunities expansion will provide. A third runway at Heathrow is the shot in the arm that our economy desperately needs given the uncertainty created by last week’s Brexit vote. We will continue to work with the airport to ensure the new Transport Secretary makes this their first decision once appointed.
“A £16bn privately funded ready-to-go infrastructure project should not be a difficult decision when 88% of Conservative party members say expanding Heathrow would show the new leader is capable of ‘putting the national interest first’.”
The letter comes on the back of the latest polling by ComRes which shows Heathrow expansion has the overwhelming support of Parliament, with two thirds of MPs backing the project.
The letter was signed by Sir Martin Sorrell and signatories ranging from FTSE chiefs and Britain’s key business and trade associations, to leading global brands and SMEs spanning the whole of the UK.
Alongside this, the first ever poll of their views of airport expansion, and as the UK prepares for Brexit, 74% of Tory Party members now support a third runway at Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow is now a choice for the next Conservative Party leader and the views of the party membership will influence the airport expansion debate.
YouGov polled 1,001 Conservative Party members across the UK. The result show that Heathrow expansion is overwhelmingly popular with both Remain and Leave voters and can play a role in unifying the party membership behind a ready to go infrastructure project. This poll result follows a ComRes poll last week showing two-thirds MPs across all parties would back Heathrow expansion in a free vote.
Following Brexit 76% of party members under the age of fifty and 74% of all party members that voted Remain want Heathrow to expand for Britain’s future outside of the EU.