Conservative MEPs reject "passenger rights" proposals which exclude Gibraltar

05-Feb-2014 @ 14:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservative MEPs today voted to reject a discriminatory report which sets out planned legislation on consumer rights for air passengers – but excludes all flights in and out of Gibraltar Airport.

The proposal aims to set out new compensation rights for passengers hit by flight delays and cancellations. There have been a number of improvements to ensure that passengers are better informed and benefit in the future.

Regrettably, a provocative exemption pushed through by Spanish MEPs during the vote of the Parliament's Transport Committee in December excluded Gibraltar Airport from the legislation.

For the second time, Conservative Transport Spokesman Jacqueline Foster MEP tabled amendments seeking to overturn that exclusion and insisted that any new measures should also cover Gibraltar – but unfortunately they did not succeed during the vote today.

For that reason Conservative MEPs solidly voted against the proposals.

Mrs Foster said: "We will not see Gibraltar marginalised in this way. It is a British Overseas Territory and part of the EU. In addition, it is represented here in the European Parliament by three of my Conservative colleagues from the South West.

"In 2006 we concluded the Cordoba Agreement which stipulated that Gibraltar Airport was part of the EU's single market and, therefore, any EU aviation legislation was required to include Gibraltar.

"This is a red line for the Conservative MEPs and we will not support any legislation that discriminates against Gibraltar and her people in this way. We could not manage to get the exclusion overturned at this stage, but we will keep pushing. You can be sure that our Conservative-led Government will continue to fight our corner at the highest levels."

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