Transport Minister "Complacent Over Aviation Security, Says Tory Mep

Junior Transport Minister, Gillian Merron MP, has at last responded to the concerns about Aviation security posed by former Transport Minister and Deputy Leader of the British Tory MEPs, the Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins – and then only after Sir Robert’s MP, Ben Wallace, tabled a Priority Question in the Commons demanding the courtesy of a reply.

“The delay is typical of the complacency of this Government over these important issues”, commented the Tory MEP, “and the actual response to my queries is simply inadequate and second-rate“.

Following a visit to Manchester Airport two months ago, Sir Robert, MEP for the North West, wrote a detailed report on his findings and proposals for the benefit of the Secretary of State for Transport. He made a number of proposals (attached) to which the Junior Minister responded as below.

RA Paragraph:

1. “Do not believe there is a problem”, flies in the face of the facts as reported by the Manchester Airport Group.

2. There are real differences in baggage security handling throughout the UK, let alone the EU. There is no acceptance of need for change!

3. So daft is this regulation that it is only being implemented occasionally, despite Ministerial assertion to the contrary. No EU airports demand it.

4. The Ministers Ignores the fact that no diabetic in their right mind would trust vital insulin to the aircraft hold.

5, 6 & 7 Apparently not the Government’s problem!

8. The Minister is wrong. A number of airports operate this approach - for safety and commercial reasons.

9. Ignored.

10. The Minister’s statement does not reflect the view of the industry.

11 & 12 Inadequate response. The industry does not accept that enough is being done by HM Government.

13. Unbelievable complacency. The public have a right to know what is going on as soon as possible. The option of closure instead of sensible communication as quite ridiculous.

“The detailed analysis that I show above demonstrates how this Government is taking the implications of increased airport security far too lightly”, commented Sir Robert. “I suggested an all-party approach, including the European Parliament, to dealing with these long-term issues and a Junior Minister – not the Secretary of State – has largely dismissed them. That will be of great concern to the industry and all who take these matters seriously”.

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