John Redwood’s contributions to the debate on the EU motion: Connecting European Facility, 19 Jan

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): A number of people who have written to me condemning the High Speed 2 project have alleged that Britain has to build it under the EU network ruling. Will the Minister confirm that Britain remains free to make its own decision on whether to have High Speed 2?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr Mark Hoban): My right hon. Friend is, as is often the case, spot on. There is no requirement under the proposal for us to build High Speed 2.

19 Jan 2012 : Column 916


Mr Redwood: Will the shadow Minister bring us up to date with Labour thinking on the IMF having more money to lend to save the euro? Does Labour think that it would be a good idea because it would promote growth, or a bad idea because it would damage the British budget?

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East) (Lab/Co-op): We are all waiting to see what proposals come forward. The Chancellor has said that he will come to Parliament and let us have a say on many of these things. Indeed, perhaps the Minister can help us out with the timing of those proposals—[Interruption.] If he would care to listen to my questions, perhaps he could also tell us when we will get the Bill to enact the European financial stabilisation mechanism permanent bail-out fund. We are all waiting for that. The eurozone countries are supposed to be rolling together the European financial stability facility and the EFSM into that permanent arrangement, but as I understand it we will have to legislate for that. Will he tell us when that will happen, because it is related to this question about potential IMF funding? We need clarity from the Government—and from the IMF as well.


  1. Sue
    January 23, 2012

    So.. we are spending £65 billion of mostly taxpayers money, destroying historical buildings, kicking people out of their homes and marring the countryside so that a tiny group of people can travel from London to Birmingham and get there 35 minutes earlier?

    And we are CHOOSING TO DO THAT? Please… gimme a break!

    Who will own this HS2? Will the government be able to just sell it off at a profit?

    FactCheck for £65 billion price tag!

  2. Sue
    January 23, 2012


  3. Mike Stallard
    January 24, 2012

    Allow me to repeat what I said on your blog – I just forget when exactly:

    “Member States shall provide the Commission with abstracts of national plans and programmes which they are drawing up with a view to develop the trans-European transport network, in particular in relation to the core network. Once adopted, the Member States shall send the national plans and programmes to the Commission for information.”

    “Core network corridor. 2. Warszawa – Berlin – Amsterdam/Rotterdam – Felixstowe – Midlands Amsterdam/Rotterdam – Felixstowe – Birmingham/Manchester – Liverpool
    Brussels, XXX COM(2011) 665/3”

    So please tell me whom we are not to believe – the EU directive or the Minister himself speaking the truth in our parliament?

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