Calls for SNP to re-think support for Heathrow runway, ahead of crunch vote on 25th

The No 3rd Runway Coalition will be at the Scottish Parliament on 21st June, to urge the SNP to change their position on supporting the Heathrow third runway proposal and to send the UK Government a message to ‘think again’. Campaigners will be joined by MSPs from Scottish Greens, Labour and Lib Dems, to highlight the environmental damage to Scotland and the rest of the UK that building a third runway would mean, as well as the fact that Scottish airports would suffer as a result.  Campaigners also believe that the SNP appear to be too trusting of UK Government promises – particularly in relation to the impact on Climate Change commitments – as revealed by Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, in response to a question from Patrick Harvie MSP in the Scottish Parliament last Thursday. A recent report by the New Economics Foundation seriously calls into question the economic case – using the Department for Transport’s own measures; and this is before taking into account the economic impact of Brexit. Expansion at Heathrow will negatively impact Scottish airports, as any growth will be routed through London and not direct to international markets that could instead be served.
.

 

 

Calls for Scotland to re-think support for Heathrow ahead of crunch vote on 25th

21.6.2018  (No 3rd Runway Coalition)

The No 3rd Runway Coalition will be at the Scottish Parliament today to urge the SNP to change their position on supporting the Heathrow third runway proposal and to send the UK Government a message to ‘think again’ (1).

Campaigners will be joined by MSPs from Scottish Greens, Labour and Lib Dems, to highlight the environmental damage to Scotland and the rest of the UK that building a third runway would mean, as well as the fact that Scottish airports would suffer as a result (2). And see Coalition briefing for Scottish politicians. Heathrow expansion Scotland briefing 

Campaigners also believe that the SNP appear to be too trusting of UK Government promises – particularly in relation to the impact on Climate Change commitments – as revealed by Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, in response to a question from Patrick Harvie MSP in the Scottish Parliament last Thursday (3).

The Labour party announced their formal opposition to the proposal on Wednesday, on the basis that the UK Government’s Airports National Policy Statement failed all four of party’s tests on climate change, delivering extra capacity, air pollution and benefits to be felt outside of London (4).

Additionally, the long-awaited UK Government mitigation framework for international aviation emissions won’t be published for many months after MPs have been asked to support the Heathrow proposal.

A recent report by the New Economics Foundation seriously calls into question the economic case – using the Department for Transport’s own measures; and this is before taking into account the economic impact of Brexit (5).

Rob Barnstone of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said:

“Plans to expand Heathrow will be to the detriment of Scotland. It puts at risk the Scottish Government’s own tough climate change targets, which would be impossible to achieve with Heathrow expansion. The Scottish government shouldn’t be so trusting of the Tory Government in Westminster.

“Expansion at Heathrow will also impact Scottish airports, as any growth will be routed through London and not direct to international markets that could instead be served.

“Promises about the number of jobs created are based on figures that were published well before Brexit.”

“Scottish politicians should not support this project and we urge MPs in the UK Parliament to vote down the proposals on Monday.”

 

ENDS.

Notes:

  1. www.no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk
  2. Our recent briefing Heathrow expansion Scotland briefing  issued to MSPs and Scottish MPs based on the lack of UK Government strategy or proposal for environmental mitigations, and new and recent analysis which calls into question the economic case for the current NPS proposal.  Also see http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/05/gordon-dewar-9ceo-of-edinburgh-airport-msps-mistaken-to-back-heathrow-monopoly-that-harms-scottish-airports/ 
  3. http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11601&i=105148#ScotParlOR
  4. https://labour.org.uk/press/labour-four-tests-heathrow-expansion-not-met/
  5. http://neweconomics.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/NEF-Flying-Low.pdf

 

For more information, contact: Rob Barnstone, 07806 947050, Robert.barnstone@outlook.com

.


In the Scottish Parliament, Patrick Harvie asked about Heathrow carbon emissions:

Heathrow Airport (Carbon Emissions)
  • 1. Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Green): 

    To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update regarding its position on how the proposed third runway at Heathrow could impact on carbon emissions. (S5O-02227)

  • The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work (Keith Brown): 

    In support of its airports national policy statement, the United Kingdom Government has analysed the impact on carbon emissions and other environmental factors from the proposed third runway at Heathrow. Alongside publication of the national policy statement on 5 June, the UK Government published an appraisal of sustainability, which estimates that emissions could increase significantly if no mitigating measures are taken. The Scottish Government has noted that analysis and the UK Government’s view that a new third runway is deliverable within its international carbon commitments. The UK Government has stated that it will not proceed with a third runway unless the delivery of such commitments is achievable.

  • Patrick Harvie: 

    I am astonished that the Scottish Government, which is apparently seeking to increase the scale of its ambition on climate change, is relying on the complacency that is being shown by the UK Government. The UK Government has clearly been told that pressing ahead with the project will make its own UK-wide climate targets unachievable. Building a third runway is the most environmentally destructive method of increasing aviation capacity, and the Scottish Government’s estimates suggest that it will increase the number of short-haul flights between Scotland and Heathrow. Is this not the most recklessly complacent infrastructure project in the UK? Is the Scottish Government not due genuine criticism for listening to its lobbyists at the Scottish National Party conference, who throw a free bar and expect the Scottish Government to fall in line behind this damaging, unnecessary and destructive project?

    .

    .

    .