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Henry Smith MP: Reforming Air Passenger Duty

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about reforming air passenger duty to boost trade.

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One way for MPs to raise issues in Westminster is through All-Party Parliamentary Groups. These Groups typically contain members of the Commons and the Lords, and include parliamentarians from across the political spectrum.

I recently established and was elected to chair a new APPG on Air Passenger Duty Reform, which seeks to encourage the UK Government to cut the rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD).

While the Government confirmed at the October 2018 Budget that short-haul APD rates will not rise for the eighth year in a row, keeping costs down for 80 per cent of passengers, there remains more to be done.

With the Band B long-haul rate scheduled to rise by £16 on 1st April 2019, reforming APD will help the UK compete on a level playing field with our European counterparts, boosting tourism, trade, jobs and growth.

The UK APD rate is the highest tax of its kind in the world. It is twice as high as the next highest, Germany. On long-haul flights it currently adds £78 to an economy ticket.

As we leave the European Union and look to forge a new identity for ourselves in the world as a global nation, it is critical we have a tax system that reflects that ambition.

With Gatwick Airport in the Crawley boundary, a significant reduction in the UK’s APD rate would signal to the world that Britain is open for business.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

Gatwick

Flights to Europe from Gatwick will be unaffected if a no-deal Brexit happens

It has been a point of much debate across Crawley and naturally within Gatwick itself.

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But today Crawley MP got confirmation that in the case of a no-deal Brexit passengers can relax as there would be no problems with flights in and out of Gatwick to Europe.

Speaking in the House of Commons Henry Smith MP asked:

“Can he (the minister) confirm that there are aviation agreements in place so that planes will be flying to and from Gatwick and other uk airports on March 30th?”

The transport secretary, while brief in response, confirmed that a whole fleet of aviation agreements are in place.

This confirmation will come as a welcome response to both airlines, airports and passengers who have been wondering for quite some time what the situation would be in if a no-deal Brexit occurred.

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