Positive news about the Red Arrows

Another letter from the PM copied in full:

E-petition: response from the Prime Minister

The e-petition asking the Prime Minister to “continue funding for the Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team – The Red Arrows” is on-going. This is a response in advance of the closing date from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Thank you for signing the petition on the No.10 website calling for the maintenance of the Red Arrows. It is a sign of the place they hold in the national affections that so many people have joined you in signing it – one of the highest numbers since the e-petition service began. That’s why I wanted to reply personally. It’s also why I am replying before the petition officially closes, in order to reassure people who are clearly concerned.

I am pleased to be able to give you good news. There are no plans to change the funding for the Red Arrows, let alone to disband them.

It is important, of course, that the MOD looks at the full range of its spending plans as part of its routine financial planning, to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent where our Armed Forces most need it. Obviously it is this review which prompted fears that the Red Arrows might be scrapped.

However, like you, the Government recognises just what an important role the Red Arrows play in our national life. As the world’s premier aerobatic team, they have thrilled millions of spectators over many years. I was lucky enough to see their extraordinary skills myself only last year at the Farnborough Air Show.

More importantly, the Red Arrows have maintained public support for the Royal Air Force, encouraged recruitment, acted as ambassadors for Britain in the world and promoted British industry for many years. So I am pleased to assure you that this government fully intends to keep the Red Arrows flying.

Thank you for signing this petition, and I hope you get a chance to see the Red Arrows yourself soon.

Yours sincerely,
Tony Blair

You can find out if the Red Arrows are flying near you by following this link.

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