Trade unions and British businesses have come out in support of a third runway at Heathrow airport, with only weeks to go before MPs vote on the project.

The British Chambers of Commerce and the TUC have urged politicians to vote in favour of the new runway, saying the project will drive significant economic growth through increased trade opportunities, thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships.

The latest Comres poll reveals 75 per cent of MPs are prepared to back the project. Unite, GMB, Community and BALPA are all in favour of the runway’s potential benefits.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Business communities across the UK are clear – it’s time to get on with the job of expanding Heathrow, and we are counting on our politicians to give this vital project the green light. Expansion will deliver business opportunities for suppliers around the UK, new domestic flights into our hub airport, bring in more overseas investment and tourism, and help British firms reach trade opportunities around the world. It’s time to crack on.”

Kevin Rowan, head of organisation, services and skills at TUC, commented: “Expanding Heathrow will unlock thousands of jobs and millions of pounds in economic benefits at a critical time for workers across the UK. With thousands of new jobs, a doubling of the number of airport apprenticeships to 10,000 and billions in economic benefits on offer at no cost to the taxpayer – we urge our politicians to back Britain’s workers by expanding Heathrow.”

Jacqui Miller-Charlton MBE, board director at Miller International, said: “As Britain’s hub airport, Heathrow is absolutely crucial for Britain and the North East to compete on the world stage. It keeps us connected to customers and markets all over the world. As Brexit draws nearer, and with Heathrow nearly at capacity, businesses in every region need expansion now – to open up new trade routes, boost existing exports – and keep thriving.”

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