SNP slammed over Heathrow vote

No third runway

Heathrow vote proves divisive 

26th June 2018 by Robert Armour 2 Comments

Scots environmentalists have slammed the SNP for abstaining from a crucial Commons vote to build a third runway at Heathrow.

Around a dozen demonstrators lay on the floor of the central lobby in the House of Commons yesterday (25 June) as MPs begun voting on the plans.

MPs voted overwhelmingly to back a third runway despite huge opposition from environmentalists and campaigners.

The government won by 415 votes to 119 - a majority of 296.

SNP MPs abstained from the vote despite campaigners urging them to vote no, a decision criticised by Dr Richard Dixon, Friends of the Earth Scotland director.

“By abstaining, SNP MPs have stayed silent and this awful proposal has passed despite the clear and repeated warning about its effect on the climate,” he said.

“The SNP has clearly felt the pressure from the thousands of people who have been emailing their MPs, but being a climate leader means taking hard decisions and voting no to destructive projects like the Heathrow runway. You can’t abstain on climate change.

“While better than supporting the project, the SNP’s symbolic abstention has done nothing to challenge this damaging, polluting plan. Heathrow is already the UK’s biggest carbon polluter and we should be finding ways to drastically cut emissions from the aviation sector rather than encouraging them to further drive climate change.”

A legal challenge to the runway is being planned by a group of local councils neighbouring the airport heralding what could be years of challenges before the development commences.  Greenpeace UK said it was ready to join the London councils in the legal challenge.

The government has pledged the airport will be built at no cost to the taxpayer, will create 100,000 jobs and will benefit the entire country, through guaranteed internal flights to the rest of the UK.

28th June 2018 by Graham Whitelaw

This a tricky question for the SNP. Vote for the additional runway and you stand accused of not considering or caring about the potential impact it will have on the immediate and wider environment. Vote against it and you stand accused of not doing your day job, ensuring Scotland will benefit from additional flights to and from London with all associated economic benefits. You could also be accused of being anti English by voting down something that some argue is only beneficial to the economy in the south east. Also, if you vote for it you could stand accused of wanting your cake and eat it too i.e. the SNP wants independence but also wants to benefit from a new runway in England. Non committal? Who'd be a politician!

28th June 2018 by Rose Burn

What I could not understand was why they abstained? This issue has been discussed for decades, surely they could make their minds up? The newspapers suggest the SNP simply did not want to vote on an issue alongside the Conservatives but surely that cannot be the case?