Plaid Cymru hits out at ‘absurd’ England-and-Wales designation for troubled HS2 project
Plaid Cymru has urged the UK Government to reclassify HS2 as an “England only” project following reports that sections of the high-speed rail link will be delayed to save money.
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has said that it is “absurd” that the UK Government “continues to pretend that HS2 is an ‘England-and-Wales’ project”.
Ms Saville Roberts’ intervention comes after reports that the UK government is set to announce that construction of certain sections of HS2 will be put on hold.
Unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, Wales doesn’t receive Barnett consequentials from spending on HS2 because national rail infrastructure in Wales is reserved to the UK Government.
For this reason the Treasury has classified HS2 as a ‘national project’ which benefits both countries, despite the railway project – even if completed – being wholly in England.
A Cardiff University report found that if rail was devolved, Wales would have received an extra £514m investment in its rail infrastructure between 2011-12 and 2019-20 as a result of UK Government investment in HS2.
Ms Saville Roberts said that it is “absurd” that the UK Government continues to “pretend” that HS2 benefits Wales, when reports suggest that it will be “nothing more than a new line between London and Birmingham”.
She called on the Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies MP, to “start doing his job” and demand Wales’s fair share from the “biggest white elephant in the Tory circus”.
“It is absurd that the UK Government continues to pretend that HS2 is an ‘England-and-Wales’ project when it’s clear it will be nothing more than a new line between London and Birmingham,” Ms Saville Roberts said.
“The argument for denying our fair share of HS2 consequential funding was threadbare to begin with. Now it has been torn to shreds.
“It’s time for the Secretary of State for Wales to start doing his job and demand Wales’s fair share from this biggest white elephant in the Tory circus”.
A budget of £55.7 billion for the whole of the HS2 project was set in 2015. But the target cost of Phase One alone has spiralled to £40.3 billion at 2019 prices.
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This decision should be “unconstitutional” and possible to challenge in a constitutional court. Unfortunately, there are no constitutional courts because there is no written constitution. Which is handy for a London government wanting to use its control of the UK economy to prioritise the expansion of London at the expense of everyone else.
‘the biggest white elephant in the Tory circus’…
ask Rishi if he has had a pat on the back from Putin, Orban and Lukashenko yet…
and how much his wife has profited from supplying Putin’s war machine…
Now Rishi could have confused the reference to the elephant and taken a fence…
I would have said the shortest short-eared elephant in the Tory circus but it’s really just another rope trick; it’s the only game he knows…
I hope the incoming Labour government will reverse this ridiculous decision as a matter of urgency
I think they will cancel the white elephant
Don’t hold your breath!! I fear Starmer”s lot will be no better than the Tory rabble we’ve got at the moment.
This is exactly the right message to lead with but I would be surprised if anything happens. Don’t give up on the fight but no way will Starmer’s Labour government care about small number of seats in Wales (unless we can create real stink about saying this is how labour treats those who vote labour) if it will potentially damage England’s budgets. That Tory and Labour are so bad at spending money, so reluctant to spend for growth or keep a proper eye on budgets, so that HS2 is becoming as bad as those misguided campaigners against said it would… Read more »
First of all it comes nowhere near Cymru about 50 miles at its nearest it comes its a white elephant which will also be paid for by Welsh taxpayers if i was a betting man it will be abandoned in time
Yet there are people who there who want to return to the pre-1997 days of having an unelected Secretary of State running Wales. It is the post of Welsh Secretary that should be abolished & we should be able to legislate on our own infrastructure as much as Scotland and Northern Ireland can for their nations.
The rail network in Wales is in such dire shambles, and you cannot travel between north and south without going through England. No doubt the Tories and the right wing media will spin this, that this is somehow the Senedd’s fault.
And they’ll get way with it because those in Cardiff have no spine.
Absurd? Yes! So why do Plaid Cymru insist on sending their Politicians to Westminster? Refuse consent to see the English king as head of state and then declare independence. Simple! There is nothing England can do about it, as they have no British crown. Only Englands and Scotland’s!
Clearly this is absurd and although the Welsh Conservatives go through the motions of politely asking if Wales can be given the money it’s owed, Tory politicians, members and a large proportion of their voters in Wales don’t care much about this as they don’t use public transport, have no interest in public transport and don’t believe that Wales should be seen as in any way separate from England, so why should Wales be due it’s own money to spend anyway?