Aviation Industry — [Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair]

Part of Worker Exploitation: Leicester Textile Industry – in Westminster Hall at 3:58 pm on 18th November 2020.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Conservative, Epsom and Ewell 3:58 pm, 18th November 2020

I applaud all the contributions to the debate from Members from all parts of the House, and I hope that our comments are listened to more widely than simply in this room. I do not seek to challenge the Minister. He is new to his job, and he faces some of the same challenges as others in similar positions in Departments across Government. These are not decisions that are being taken in the Department for Transport, but there is an expectation in this room that action will come more quickly than the official Government line has suggested.

I do not understand why a 72-hour test prior to departure, coupled with a check-up test on arrival in the UK, represents a greater risk than the 14-day quarantine. Given the urgency of the situation that the aviation sector faces, I do not really understand why the global taskforce has not reported already. I hope it will be understood clearly elsewhere in Government that that must happen, and it must happen now.

However, those are not things that I level at the Minister. He has been a great champion of the sector, and I know he will be a very effective aviation Minister. I know that he will do everything he can to unlock the challenges that the industry faces and put it back on a path to recovery. The message from everyone in this room to the Government is this: we cannot afford to let the sector carry on dying on its feet. Every action possible must be taken across Government to enable the industry to recover. Whether we are a former Minister, a Select Committee Chair or member, or an Opposition spokesperson, we will all be watching carefully. This will not be the last time we raise the issue, if the problem is not solved.

Motion lapsed (Standing Order No. 10(6)).