Welsh MP brands UK Govt’s refusal to reclassify HS2 a ‘scandal’
A Welsh MP has questioned the UK Government’s ongoing refusal to designate HS2 as an England-only scheme branding the plans a “scandal”.
Speaking during a debate on HS2 in Westminster Hall this morning, Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter said: “It is a disgrace that it’s not classified as an England-only project.
“£5bn in consequentials… would fund the Wales and Swansea Bay Metros, integrate North Wales line with Merseyside, connect Aberystwyth and Swansea by train.”
All parties, including the Welsh Conservatives, backed a motion from Plaid Cymru calling on the UK Government to reclassify the high-speed route which is currently categorised as an England and Wales project, even though it does not cross the border.
The Govt’s ongoing refusal to designate HS2 an England-only scheme is a scandal.
Even the Tories in the Senedd think it should be reclassified as England-only, which would mean £5bn extra for Welsh transport infrastructure.
Well done @Rees4Neath for securing this vital debate. pic.twitter.com/aPkmNsRtCP
— Beth Winter MP (@BethWinterMP) May 10, 2023
Addressing the Government Minister Huw Merriman, Winter added: “If you’re not going to listen of people on this side of the house, will he please consider listening to members of his own party, including members of the Welsh Affairs Committee, who produced a rail infrastructure report in which it stated HS2 should be classified as an England-only project.”
“Only last month, in the Welsh Senedd, all members of the assembly, including members of his own party, passed a motion unanimously calling on the UK Government to redesignate HS2 as an England-only project, and provide Wales with the resultant consequentials.”
“It is the right thing to do.”
When the UK Government spends money on projects in England that are devolved to Wales, it normally triggers extra funding for Wales in the form of a consequential.
Labelling HS2 as an England and Wales means there will be no extra funding for the Welsh Government.
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All the people of Cymru must recognise this injustice perpetrated by the Fairyland Government in London. Now is surely the time for us to govern ourselves – independence will create a wiser, safer and less insular government that acts in the interest of Cymry, not that of international financiers and the City of London.
You can’t just say “Westminster is bad, now is time to govern ourselves.”
This is clear example of Westminster robbing Wales blind with no intention of changing it going forward – unless challenged in court? – but Brexit has shown that leaving without a plan is incredibly difficult.
Surely everyone knows Westminster is bad enough to consider independence now, now we need people to see independence as workable option.
With the proposed HS2 railway track wholly in England, its designation by the UK government as an England & Wales project is deliberately designed to deprive Wales of some £5bn in Barnett consequentials. It is a shockingly dishonourable, fraudulent decision made on the extremely feebly pretext that a few trains using the track will proceed into Wales. It also shows blatant discrimination against Wales for it is not designated as an England & Scotland project although some trains using the track will also go to Scotland that will, therefore, receive about £9bn in Barnett consequentials.
This is what we expect from Westminster, the outstanding question is what if labour win the next election. Will they treat Cymru in the same insulating manner? I see nothing coming from them, just more of the same. Independence is the only answer and Welsh Labour need to wake up and get into the real world and embrace indipendence.
In the End this England Railway will be a WHITE ELEPHANT and i think it will be abandoned by an incoming Labour government Tories do not know the meaning of Honesty
I think this is much deeper than just the obvious avoidance of paying Wales what we are due, this is Westminster telling Wales they don’t care what we say, they will do what they want and there’s nothing we can do, It’s just another sign of the abusive relationship we are in. It’s all about control.
This is a travesty & needs to be sorted out. Scotland benefit much more from devolution including getting control of the Crown Estates. Wales is being underfunded by millions of pounds & since Brexit & the cost of living crisis it’s getting worse.
You can blame Carwyn Jones for any discrepancy between Wales and a Scotland, everything was on offer and he rejected most of it.
Westminster cares little for how much the Senedd cries foul. Is there a case to be made in court? Will any court case be impartial ? I have my doubts. The only option left – independence. The Senedd and in particular the Welsh Labour party has to accept that. If it lets it slide, this sort of thing will only increase, no matter what colour is in No10.
As I understand it, Barnett is a convention not an legal obligation which can be freely ignored by any bad faith government, so there’s nothing to test in court. It’s why there needs to be a written constitution which can by protected by a constitutional court.