The latest corporate voice to weigh in on the possibility of the UK dropping out of the European Union comes from Heathrow.

In a statement on Tuesday, CEO of the airport operator John Holland-Kaye said:

Heathrow believes that the UK will be better off remaining in a reformed EU. We are the UK’s only hub airport, connecting Britain to over 80 long haul destinations, and handling over a quarter of UK exports – but we recognise that for business to thrive we also need to be part of the single European market.

Membership of the EU has made air travel affordable and convenient, with regular flights to the continent from all parts of Britain – fuelling jobs, exports and economic growth.

A vote to remain offers the best of both worlds – it secures our place as a powerhouse in the global economy, while remaining in the world’s largest free trade zone.

Separately, Heathrow also said that it handled 75m passengers over the whole of last year, a record with a rise of 2.2 per cent. It squeezed more spending out of those passengers too; retail revenue per passenger rose by 6.2 per cent to £7.58.

Europe remained comfortably the airport’s biggest destination, with 31.2m passengers over the year, up by 3.9 per cent. That’s well above second-place North America, which accounted for 17.3m passengers, up by a more modest 1.7 per cent.

Pre-tax profits rose by 21.9 per cent to £223m.

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