In a move guaranteed to anger Londoners, the Scottish Nationalists stand accused of “crossing the line” after giving notice of the latest battleground on which they will dictate events in England.
In the argument over runway capacity the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said her 56 Westminster MPs will vote for the airport that she believes offers a better deal to Scots.
SNP transport spokesman Drew Hendry told the Evening Standard his party was “absolutely neutral” between a third runway at Heathrow Airport and a second one at Gatwick, but insisted Scottish interests were also at stake. He said the SNP will decide which airport to back after hearing how each would answer Scottish demands for cheaper tickets, routes from Scottish regional airports and guaranteed onward connections with international flights.
He explained: “That does not mean we do not care about environmental issues or the effect it would have on people locally. Whatever decision must be made in the most balanced way but my primary job is to represent the people of Scotland.”
The Evening Standard predicts the prospect of Scottish MPs swinging the decision which affects millions in the South-East of England “is bound to infuriate some Londoners.”
Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park and the leading candidate for his party’s nomination as mayoral candidate, warned SNP MPs the would be “crossing the line in terms of our democracy” if a deal is struck buying their voted in return for cheaper flights for Scottish travellers.
The SNP move will also cause concern to Heathrow’s supporters who until now thought the Nationalists’ support for their third runway was guaranteed. Heathrow lobbyists wanted a free vote in Parliament to settle the matter, believing that Scottish and Northern Irish MPs would automatically back them because of the better connections offered by the UK’s hub airport.
As yet there is no word on whether Nicola Sturgeon will ask her MPs to listen to English voters, but if she wants a consistent approach to disrupting English governance and irking the Conservative government she should.
The SNP’s decision to vote on fox hunting reform was supposedly a judgment “based on what [SNP MPs] consider the will of the people who have made their views know to us, in terms of how they want us to vote”.
As Breitbart London reported on that occasion, the voices Sturgeon and her colleagues said they were heeding were “mainly from England.” As before, the likelihood is that the SNP’s latest move will escalate calls for English Votes for English Laws.
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