Iain Duncan Smith questions Heathrow’s ability to cope with the snow

1st March 2018

Iain Duncan Smith asks the Transport Secretary why Heathrow airport appears unable to cope with the snow when many regional airports can.

Within the context of equity of spending, I wonder whether, after this snow event is over, my right hon. Friend will ask some serious questions, or even have a review, about why we still seen to be in no way prepared for such events. For example, I discovered yesterday that Heathrow is busy offloading flights because they cannot cope, whereas—[Interruption.]

Order. Is this about regional flights?

Yes, regional flights. What I am saying is that, given all of that, airports such as Gatwick and others are able to cope. Does my right hon. Friend not think that it is ridiculous that some airports are simply unable to cope while others across the UK can?

I know that a number of Members are here today because their flights to regional airports have not been able to take off. I hope and expect that we will be able to sort that out as quickly as possible today, although it is really important that the transport system is run safely. Of course, one of the benefits of the expansion of Heathrow is that the airport would become more resilient to such difficult situations, and connections to regional airports would be more reliable.

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Freedom of Movement post Brexit by Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP

March 2018


This paper sets out proposals to revise the immigration system and additionally in the annexe it makes the point that more information is required to fully understand the nature of where the costs fall and benefits exist. The information on much, if not all, of this is held by the government.
The central objective should be to ensure control over the movement of people. Using a combination of work permits and a cap we would look to control access to work and rights to settlement. Free movement for EU citizens for other purposes should be preserved.