Heathrow expansion can help ensure continued prosperity in post-Brexit Britain

Heathrow expansion can help ensure continued prosperity in post-Brexit Britain

However you voted in the EU referendum, one thing is now certain – we’ve got to pull together to make it work. This means making sure Britain can sell our goods in all parts of the world.

When it comes to exporting, Heathrow Airport is placed to play a big part in the UK’s success post-Brexit. Last year over £106 billion worth of goods travelled through the airport – more than the combined value ferried through Felixstowe and Southampton, Britain’s biggest container ports. Heathrow carries around a third of UK exports to long-haul destinations outside the EU, and more than a quarter of total exports.

Long before the UK voted to leave the EU, Heathrow was banging on the door of Number 10 with the message ‘we need to expand the UK’s number one airport, it’s 98% full and we are in danger losing out to other European airports’.

Fast forward a few years and two changes of government and a referendum later: Heathrow is just as full and the need to export has become even greater.

Heathrow has rightly warned that prosperity in post-Brexit Britain will be jeopardised unless the Government takes swift action on expansion. And no one can accuse the airport of being wasteful – despite being almost full last year it managed to grow at its fastest rate in five years, due to an increase in average loads per plane. A record 78 million passengers travelled through Heathrow, an increase of 3 per cent, and a 10 per cent increase in cargo volumes.

Heathrow’s Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, states that while Heathrow is squeezing out small bits of growth, its rivals in France and Germany are overtaking Britain. And now Heathrow has run out of freight capacity on six key routes: Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai, Delhi, Los Angeles and Tokyo – this alone could put crucial post-Brexit trade deals at risk.

For Britain to thrive post-Brexit, the Government needs to press ahead with Heathrow expansion. It is committed to holding a vote in Parliament before the summer on the National Policy Statement for Heathrow expansion and all MPs, whether they voted Leave or Remain in the referendum, must to recognise the opportunity that lies ahead.

Heathrow is a great British success story. For an even brighter future for our country after Brexit, we must expand Britain’s only hub-airport. It’s time to back Heathrow.