WITH every day that passes, the question of the UK's airport capacity becomes more pressing. It is not just the lengthy queues at Heathrow but warnings from business about the UK's ability to compete against its rivals in the longer term.

In terms of aviation, the UK's transport links with Asia and Latin America already lag behind its rivals': it is hard to reinvent yourself as a buccaneering trading nation when you have such relatively poor transport connections.

In the short term, the bottlenecks must be eased; in the long term, a world-class hub airport is needed to maintain our status as a front-rank economy.

All of which makes it all the more unfortunate that the government's aviation review is being delayed again, in deference to the scruples of the Liberal Democrats.

Compromise is part of coalition. But if Nick Clegg's men continue to clip Britain's wings, the economic damage will be felt for decades. London, July 12