Europe security vote fails

EUROPE’S nations must work together to harmonise their air cargo security regime, says UK transport secretary, Philip Hammond.

Speaking at the EU’s Transport Council, Hammond was responding to the failed vote to standardise Europe’s conflicting security rules. Strong cargo countries, such as France, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK supported the plan, but several countries abstained from the vote.

Hammond said he was disappointed at the vote’s defeat, but that it should not prevent individual countries from strengthening their security ties.

“Last year’s plot to conceal bombs in toner cartridges served as a reminder that terrorists are always looking for ways to circumvent our security processes,” he said. “While the UK enjoys one of the strongest transport security regimes in the world, aviation is a global industry and we must tackle this together.”

A spokesperson for Siim Kallas, the EU transport commissioner, said the plan was “essential and proportionate”.

There is at least cautious optimism that an agreement will be decided in the summer at the Aviation Security Committee in July.

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