§ Mr. Matthew Banks
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he is making in talks on the US-UK bilateral air agreements; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Norris
The United Kingdom tabled a liberalisation proposal in December which goes much further than anything we have previously offered. It takes a phased approach offering immediate complete liberalisation of all UK-US services except those involving Heathrow and Gatwick and offers real commercial opportunities at those two airports.
I hope that the United States will recognise our proposal as a serious one and agree to meet us around the negotiating table soon so that we can achieve a deal by 19 April, as agreed between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and his United States counterpart last year.