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LONDON: July 28, 2019. With the erection of Alexander ('Al') Boris Johnson to the position of Britain's latest unelected prime minister, the country now faces a self-induced economic cataclysm from a no-deal Brexit or another general election.

Or both.

So will Al deflect public distrust in his mendacity by resurrecting plans to replace Heathrow with a new airport in the Thames Estuary? And what will Trump tweet about his new BFF's pronouncements when he's reminded Al gave up his American citizenship because he didn't want to pay his taxes?

In 2016, just prior to becoming a Brexit supporter and while mayor of London, Al concluded his airport vanity project with a plea to think of Britain’s future:

“We need an alternative that gives all of the UK access to all of the world. The Airports Commission’s evidence makes clear that a) this needs to be a hub and b) this hub needs to have at least four runways. Moreover, we need to avoid the dire public health impacts associated with Heathrow. This is essential if we are ever to achieve a political consensus and smooth the path to delivery of new capacity.

“The only credible solution is a new hub airport, located to the east of London, away from populated areas but connected by fast rail services to London and much of the UK.

“Having considered a long list of locations we identified three: the Inner Thames Estuary, Outer Thames Estuary and Stansted. Each could accommodate the four-runway hub that London and the UK needs. Our analysis predicts that they would offer around double the number of long haul and domestic destinations served by Heathrow today, while exposing 95% fewer people to significant aircraft noise.

“A four-runway hub to the east of London, rather than jarring with the growth of London will support it, catalysing regeneration and housing to the east. It is forecast to contribute £92 billion to UK GDP in 2050 and support 336,000 jobs nationally. This would be truly transformational for London and the UK.

“Government has a bold decision to make – but not a difficult one. Yes, it has to inspire those lacking the imagination to look beyond the constrained site that serves as our severely impaired hub today.

“Yes, it has to face down the vested interests who are set on a non- solution that does not serve the national interest. But the Airports Commission’s evidence is clear: if we are to secure the connectivity we need to support our future growth and prosperity – and do so without dire impacts on public health – then we must do better than Heathrow.

“We need a long term vision for the right airport that sustains our economy and safeguards our public health. That airport is a new four-runway hub airport at the Thames Estuary or Stansted – one that can support a United Kingdom fully engaged with the world. I would urge Government not to turn its back on our future.”

Time will tell whether Al Johnson does just that.

OUTNOW

 

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