Tory Backbenchers Call for Aviation Sector to Be Reopened

Calls to keep the UK’s aviation sector closed this summer should be dismissed, according to a group of Conservative MPs, because of the damage this would do to the British economy. In a letter published in today’s Times, the nine MPs argue that while some restrictions could stay in place, such as Covid testing, the freedom to travel and do business must now be granted.

Sir, The UK’s aviation sector is facing calls to stay closed this summer, to guard against coronavirus variants. Kneejerk demands to sacrifice an industry carry costs. Failing to reopen air travel would be devastating to exporters, as well as our tourism and hospitality sectors. One person’s abundance of caution is another’s redundancy notice. This must be front and centre in the Government’s thinking as the Global Travel Taskforce makes its recommendations. With the Government’s great vaccination programme meaning that all over-50s will be vaccinated by mid-April and multiple confirmations from ministers and scientists that the vaccine protects against severe illness, even with the new variants, people will ask why we went to such efforts if it does not grant us the freedom to travel, trade and do business. We might not be able to travel immediately to every country. Testing can continue. But there is a sensible middle ground that allows us to move forward without fear. We entered lockdown together, and we must leave it together – hopefully some via an airport.

Andrew Bridgen MP
Julian Sturdy MP
Richard Drax MP
Steve Baker MP
Sir Graham Brady MP
Paul Maynard MP
Simon Jupp MP
David Davis MP
Henry Smith MP

Stop Press: Steve Baker also appeared on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s talkRADIO show this morning, and said that Boris Johnson must end the “doom loop” of lockdown.

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