The government has announced that Heathrow Airport is to be expanded with a new runway added to the site, part of Whitehall’s plans to create a global Britain and build an economy that works for all.
This will be the first full length runway to be constructed in the south-east of the country since the second world war, with the scheme now to be taken forward with a draft national policy statement to be produced for consultation.
It’s expected that the runway will bring economic benefits to the tune of up to £61 billion, with up to 77,000 extra local jobs to be created over the next 14 years. What’s more, the airport itself has committed to creating 5,000 new apprenticeships.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “A new runway at Heathrow will improve connectivity in the UK itself and crucially boost our connections with the rest of the world, supporting exports, trade and job opportunities. This isn’t just a great deal for business, it’s a great deal for passengers who will also benefit from access to more airlines, destinations and flights.”
However, the decision appears to have thrown the Tories into turmoil, with Zac Goldsmith – one of the most high profile backbenchers in the party – resigning from Parliament over the plans to build the runway.
He said the expansion will be a “millstone” around the neck of the government for years to come and he’ll now be standing as an independent candidate. Boris Johnson also criticised the plans for the project, saying it would be undeliverable.
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