the South East, will be greater still. Today, as I write, the UK is losing business to Schiphol, to Frankfurt, to Charles de Gaulle in Paris and even to Dubai. We must bring that business home and we must expand if we are to thrive economically.
There was a time when people used to say “if only Roger Gale cared as much about us as he cares about animals…..” and I am well aware that there are those who now feel that I am giving time to fighting for Manston Airport that ought to be spent on other issues.
There are twenty-four hours in a day and I have devoted many of those hours to all aspects of my work, as a Member of Parliament, both at home and abroad. I believe, though, that at present the pursuit of a Development Consent Order to facilitate the re-opening of Manston for Freight, Passenger and General Aviation and for airport-related purposes, is the single most important issue facing East Kent and a matter of significant national interest also. Put quite simply, if the airfield is developed for overspill housing for London and for unwanted commercial buildings o then an opportunity will have been lost forever.
The purchase of Manston airfield by RSP is a significant step forward that has protected the site for aviation and related purposes. The Planning Inspectorate DCO report is now with the Secretary of State. I hope for and expect a positive determination early in the year. Then the future of Manston Airport and the employment and prosperity that it will generate can really take off at last.
I have fought for the future of Manston Airport for the best part of twenty five years and I shall continue to do so.
Manston is a national asset that must, in the interests of Great Britain Limited, be re-opened as swiftly as possible.
The demand for air-freight capacity is growing annually and as Britain develops the new markets that we will need to survive and prosper post-Brexit that demand, particularly in