Fire up the bulldozers now

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Parliament has spoken loud and clear on the historic decision to go ahead with vital Heathrow Airport expansion.

And despite the diplomatic absence of truant Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on a convenient away-day ticket to Kabul to avoid having to vote, MPs gave a huge majority for the building of a third runway, essential for the UK’s economic wellbeing.

Now - and without delay - the bulldozers should be fired up and a start made on this already long-delayed project. Otherwise there will be yet more interminable delays as the ‘antis’ serve notice that they are already engaged in talks with legal experts in yet more attempts to scupper this development.

What is more, Jeremy Corbyn’s also warned that if Labour get into power, he will stop the project, depending on how far advanced the work has progressed at the time.

The Government should contemplate the likelihood that if all the nay-sayers had been listened to, and if every discovery of a colony of rare beetles had been allowed to stand in the way of progress, there might have been no Industrial Revolution and no national network of motorways.

That is why the Government should regard the huge Commons majority last week in favour of the expansion as the green-light, go-ahead for action. They should roll up their sleeves. defy the antis, and get to work straight away - no ifs, no buts.

- Temper! Temper! Environment Secretary Michael Gove, outwardly the mildest of men, was so livid about the Cabinet’s divisions over the crucial customs union issue, that he actually tore up his papers relating to the subject. You need go no further than this display of fury to understand the state of disarray in the Cabinet. After weeks of dithering, the saucepan, so to speak, has finally boiled over. Yet the official Opposition seem incapable of exploiting this deep-seated weakness at the topmost echelons of government.

Let us hope Gove and his cronies will have cooled down, with sedatives if necessary, in time for what Jeremy Corbyn has described as a “pyjama party” of senior ministers at Chequers next weekend to thrash out the issue.