Former environmental minister Tim Yeo says Cameron should “decide whether he’s a man or a mouse.”

 Mr Yeo has himself changed his opinion on the expansion of the airport. “An immediate go-ahead for a third runway will symbolise the start of a new era, the moment the Cameron government found its sense of mission. Let’s go for it,” he comments.

There are fears from other ministers, such as Grant Shapps, that Britain could lose its edge as a “great trading nation” without the expansion.

There are concerns that Britain could lose out on valuable trading trading opportunities with dominant countries such as China, without an infrastructure that can handle the business demand.

As a nation we need to remain in the “economic Premier League,” claims Mr Yeo.

“Unveiling this policy now would seize the political initiative, and could be the start of a desperately needed programme to make Britain the most business-friendly country in Europe.”

On the flipside, Mayor of London Boris Johnson is opposed to the new runway, but he agrees Cameron is “pussyfooting around” the decision.

A new argument for the expansion of Heathrow is that travel companies wanting to use the new facility will have to adhere to European Union carbon emissions caps and use more environmentally efficient aircrafts.

“The environmental objections are disappearing. Last January, greenhouse gas emissions from flying were brought within the EU cap,” says Mr Yeo.

“Indeed, we could cover the whole of Surrey with runways and not increase emissions by a single kilogram: if Heathrow expands, so remaining the European destination of choice, airlines will fly their newest and quietest aircraft to it.”