Aviation Security

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd March 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport 12:00 am, 22nd March 2017

I take a little bit of issue with that last point. The Labour party was in power for 13 years, and the hon. Gentleman’s Front-Bench predecessors well understood that there are things that we cannot set out in public that lie behind the decisions we take in the interests of passengers. That has not changed throughout all the years in which each of our parties has been in office. I understand his desire for information, but the reality is that there is an evolving security threat to aircraft, and we take decisions as and when we believe it is necessary to do so to protect our citizens. I am very clear that this is nothing to do with singling out countries or destinations. The decisions we take are based purely and simply on an evolving security threat, and on what we believe is the right way to protect United Kingdom citizens. The United States Administration will take decisions about how they should best protect their citizens. We do not always have to take exactly the same decisions on behalf of both our countries. We have done what we think is right for the United Kingdom.

The hon. Gentleman raised a couple of other points, including transfer passengers. The rules will apply to transfer passengers. As is normally the case now, transfer passengers will go through a further central security check and will be subject to the same at-gate checks. If they have a laptop, tablet, or large or oversized phone with them, it will be placed in the aircraft’s hold. The individual airlines are working, with our support, on providing the best possible information to passengers, as will the Foreign Office and various Government agencies that can play a role, but our first and foremost priority in response to an evolving security threat is to ensure that we provide the best possible protection for our citizens.