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A message of reassurance over the impact of Brexit

Liz Truss visited Stansted Airport today Credit: ITV News

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss has visited Stansted Airport to reassure businesses in the East that the government is committed to a post-Brexit economy.

On her visit she highlighted the increase in exports from the East of England- which has been vital in helping the economy grow.

The latest figures show between 2015 and 2016 exports increased 10.4%.

She said the airport's new flights to Dubai emphasised the post-Brexit need for new routes to the rest of the world.

The visit was to highlight the region's increased exports Credit: ITV News

The East of England exports £16 billion of goods to Europe, compared to £4.6 billion to North America and nearly £1 billion to China.

Machinery and transport goods were the most exported followed by chemicals.

The East of England is a thriving region and a vital hub between the UK and the rest of the world.

The Government is hugely committed to ensuring the East of England and its businesses are as competitive and productive as possible in the global marketplace.

– Liz Truss MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

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Passengers stranded overnight at Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport had to provide beds and blankets for hundreds of stranded passengers overnight.

The bad weather caused delays and cancellations which left people waiting to re-book tickets.

Stansted temporarily closed its runway twice yesterday due to ice. As a result, 27 inbound and 27 outbound flights were cancelled leaving around 300 passengers in the terminal waiting to rebook flights.

The airport provided beds and blankets for people who couldn't get home or find accommodation.

Passengers stranded at Stansted Airport. Credit: ITV Anglia

Stansted said all flights were anticipated to operate as scheduled today although passengers were reminded to check their flight's status before travelling to the airport.

Meanwhile around 50 flights were cancelled at Luton and the airport is also urging passengers to check with their airlines before travelling.

"All affected customers were contacted by email and SMS text message and advised of their rebooking options," Ryanair said in a statement.

"We sincerely apologise to all customers affected by these weather cancellations and disruptions, which are entirely beyond our control."

Stansted passenger held under Terrorism Act

A man has been arrested and held under the Terrorism Act at Stansted Airport

A passenger has been arrested at Stansted Airport on suspicion of offences under the Terrorism Act.

The 34-year-old man, who is Swedish, was stopped after he arrived on a flight from Stockholm shortly before eight o'clock yesterday morning (Tuesday 19th).

He was then arrested on suspicion of being in possession of material containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

He was taken to a police station in Essex where he is still in custody.

Police patrol Stansted airport on look out for slavery victims

Essex police officers and specials at Stansted Airport Credit: Essex Police.

Police from Essex have been at Stansted Airport looking for victims of modern-day slavery and people trafficking.

Alongside border officials, police and special constables spoke to several hundred passengers and monitored flights throughout Saturday.

They offered advice to travellers on how to spot a potential victim and how to report suspicious behaviour.

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Stansted airport plans to serve 17 million more passengers a year

London Stansted Airport Credit: London Stansted Airport

Stansted airport plans serve 17 million more passengers a year, without increasing the number of flights or its noise levels.

The Essex airport wants to increase its passenger cap from 35 million to 43 million to allow them to grow over the next decade. They say the planning cap must be raised so they can best use their existing capacity.

The plans come after discussions with the local community and they say it will allow them to offer more destinations, without increasing the number of flights or their 'noise footprint'. However, they had to revise down their aims for the cap from 44.5 million after concerns were raised by local residents.

Currently around 26 million passengers use the airport every year, up by 10 million from five years ago.

“These plans provide a good balance between ensuring our future growth, support for the region’s economy and addressing concerns around local environmental impacts. With clarity over the airport’s ability to grow, airlines and business partners will have the confidence to continue to invest and grow at Stansted.”

– Ken O’Toole, Chief Executive of London Stansted Airport

Ryanair emails customers affected by cancellations to clarify their rights

Ryanair has been criticised by the CAA Credit: PA

Ryanair which operates from Stansted airport, has responded to threats of legal action from the aviation regulator by emailing customers affected by flight cancellations to clarify their rights.

The airline told passengers they can receive a refund or be transferred on to other flights or travel by trains, buses or car hire.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which on Thursday accused the Dublin-based carrier of "not complying with the law" over its handling of the fiasco, claimed the airline had "capitulated" after enforcement action was launched.

It had accused Ryanair of not telling passengers that under EU261 rules they were entitled to be re-routed by another carrier.

Ryanair's offer to passengers features several conditions, including assessing the cost of flights on other airlines "on a case by case basis" before bookings are made.

An extra 18,000 flights for the winter season were cancelled by Ryanair on Wednesday - a move that will hit 400,000 customers.

Several popular routes used by UK travellers were hit, such as Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast, Newcastle to Faro, and Glasgow to Las Palmas.

It adds to mounting anger against Ryanair, which was already coming under heavy fire after cancelling up to 50 flights a day earlier this month.

Passengers have expressed their frustration with the airline, with many left out of pocket due to a lack of alternative flights and accommodation bookings they can no longer use.

Ryanair said the cancellations were brought about because of an error with pilot holiday rosters and insisted the latest reduction in its schedule will "eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations".

"Our job is to protect passengers' rights and ensure that all airlines operating in the UK are fully compliant with important consumer laws. Where we find that an airline is systematically flouting these rules, we will not hesitate to take action to minimise the harm and detriment caused to passengers, as we have done with Ryanair in recent days. It appears that Ryanair has now capitulated."

– CAA chief executive Andrew Haines

"We apologise again sincerely for the disruption and inconvenience our rostering failure has caused some of our customers. We have taken on extra customer service staff and are moving now to process and expedite all EU261 claims from affected customers. We are committed to processing all such claims within 21 days of receipt and hope to have all such claims settled before the end of October."

– Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's chief marketing officer
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