Blair says no politician would ban cheap flights

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Tony Blair has predicted that no politician in Britain will ever end cheap air travel because it would risk committing political suicide.

In an interview with Sky News to be broadcast today, the Prime Minister admits he is reluctant to give up his holidays abroad and doubts any government would end cheap flights or impose draconian curbs on motoring.

Green groups and political opponents have criticised Labour for being too timid in tackling climate change. But Mr Blair says: "I think if what we do in this area is set people unrealistic targets, you know if we say to people we're going to cancel all the cheap air travel... I'm still waiting for the first politician who's actually running for office who's going to come out and say it."

Arguing that international agreement is vital, Mr Blair says: "You've got to do this together and you've got to do it in a way that doesn't end up putting people off the green agenda by saying you must not have a good time and can't consume. All the evidence is that if you use the science and technology constructively, your economy can grow."

It was a "false argument" to say, that "unless you're prepared to put on a hair shirt you can't really deal with this issue". He adds: "Britain is 2 per cent of the world's emissions. We shut down all of Britain's emissions tomorrow - China will make up the difference in two years. So we've got to be realistic about how much obligation we put on ourselves."