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Rennie: SNP support for Heathrow “fundamentally incompatible” with green recovery

July 29, 2020 1:01 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today demanded the First Minister withdraw support for the expansion of Heathrow, stressing that the project is "fundamentally incompatible" with a green recovery from the coronavirus and "endangering the climate".

In response to a parliamentary question this week, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Michael Matheson, stated: "Yes, we remain committed to the memorandum of understanding between the Scottish Government and Heathrow."

In an exchange with Willie Rennie at FMQs in May 2019, the First Minister committed to review the Scottish Government's support for Heathrow expansion stating:

"We will require to look at all our policies across all areas of Scottish Government responsibility through that new lens of climate change. Whether it is the policy that Willie Rennie cites today or any other policy, that is the commitment that we are making."

Willie Rennie commented:

"I'm astonished that the Scottish Government is refusing to budge on its ill-judged support for Heathrow expansion.

"A third runway at Heathrow would result in hundreds of thousands of tonnes of extra emissions from additional flights. That will set us back on achieving our climate ambitions and is fundamentally incompatible with our desire for a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

"The Scottish Government's stubborn support of this damaging venture is nonsensical and endangering the climate.

"It is really disappointing the First Minister did not look again at the support for Heathrow despite promising it to the Parliament that she would.

"People need to know the government is taking the climate threat seriously, and actions speak louder than words. The SNP must immediately heed the evidence, change their tune and withdraw their support for Heathrow's expansion."