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Heathrow plans to be voted on next week

A new north-west runway (left) would be a full 3,200m long. Enough for any aircraft type to use

Controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport are due to be voted on by the House of Commons early next week after being approved by the Cabinet.

Labour is set to give its MPs a free vote on the issue despite the party publically announcing it does not support the plans because they failed four of its own tests, namely on the runway’s environmental impact.

The four conditions needed for Labour to support the runway include:

  • That increased capacity will be delivered
  • That the UK can meet its CO2 reduction commitments
  • Minimise noise and local environmental impact
  • Expansion benefits regions across the UK and not just the South East and London.

The party is now calling on all other parties to offer a free vote to MPs.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling faces tough opposition across the Commons, with Putney MP Justine Greening and foreign secretary Boris Johnson speaking out multiple times against building a third runway at Heathrow.

Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea and Fulham, has now resigned from the government in opposition to plans to enforce a vote, having opposed expansion at Heathrow in the 2017 election.

Whilst unions and business leaders support expansion, the reaction to the Cabinet's approval has varied.

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