4th April 2014
Conservative MEPs have this week seen off a threat to thousands of local jobs at Airbus, posed by the irresponsible actions of Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP MEPs.
An earlier decision by the Environment Committee, under which the EU would have forced non-European airlines to pay a carbon levy every time they flew in or out of the EU, was overturned thanks to the support rallied by British Conservatives. Had the earlier decision been approved then it would have provoked retaliation around the globe and severely damaged the local aerospace sector.
That earlier, and highly damaging, decision was pushed through by eco-zealot Green MEPs with the support of British Labour and Lib-Dem MEPs - and only succeeded because UKIP's deputy leader Paul Nuttall failed to attend. This meant that the Committee voted in favour of charging US, Indian and Chinese airlines a levy for every flight.
Not surprisingly these main trading partners have all threatened retaliatory measures, with the US Congress passing a resolution condemning the scheme. The Chinese had been planning to unfreeze an order of 27 Airbus A330s but this was put on hold as was a proposed order for a further 150 Airbus jets at the end of this month. Both Chinese actions were delayed as a direct result of the earlier vote.
Fortunately, this week’s vote of the full parliament reversed the committee decision and should repair the damage.
Commenting on the vote, Ashley Fox MEP said: "Airbus is responsible for 100,000 UK jobs, 4000 of which are based at Filton near Bristol, with nearly another 38,000 throughout the South West - all of which were recklessly put at risk by Labour, the Lib Dems and by UKIP.
"Happily the majority of MEPs rejected this lunatic approach. Otherwise they would have cheerfully sacrificed the job prospects of hundreds of British workers because of climate change fanaticism or outright incompetence.”