Heathrow boss warns against the UK leaving the EU

Jess Shanahan
- Leadership - Feb 23, 2016

The Chief Executive of Heathrow John Holland-Kaye has stated that the UK needs to stay in the EU in order to ‘thrive’. He is one of a number of chief executives to sign a letter backing David Cameron’s reform deal.

Holland-Kaye believes that staying in a reformed EU would be much more beneficial to the UK than leaving. He said: “We are the UK’s only hub airport, connecting Britain to over 80 long-haul destinations, and handling over a quarter of UK exports — but we recognise that for business to thrive we also need to be part of the single European market.”

A British exit from the EU would make a third runway at Heathrow even more pressing. Holland-Kaye said: “If we were to exit the EU we would become more dependent on trade with those non-EU markets which means we need more long-haul flights.

"These long-haul airlines to emerging markets can't make it work at other UK airports, but can make it work at Heathrow and unless we add a new runway here we're not going to be able to do that."

A decision on the third runway at the airport probably won’t be made now until the referendum in June.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick airport, echoes the thoughts of the Heathrow boss and has also signed the letter backing Cameron’s reform plans.

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