Brexit won’t affect HS2 policy, says Northern Powerhouse Minister
Government is not scrapping HS2 in order to fund the Brexit Bill, despite press reports to the contrary.
In a Commons debate on April 24, Jim McMahon (Labour, Oldham West and Royton), cited a story in the Manchester Evening News which claimed that the government had come under pressure from Conservative back benchers to shelve HS2 and use the resources to fund to the Brexit Bill.
He then asked: “Will the Minister confirm that HS2 to Manchester will go ahead, on time and to the budget that has been outlined?”
Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy responded by saying “There has been no change to the Government’s policy on HS2. I remind the Honourable Gentleman that, in addition, there is £13 billion of other investment. Over the next two years, particularly on the trans-Pennine line, there will be new rail, new carriages and new services - a whole new passenger experience. There will be over £2 billion of investment in that important trans-Pennine route under the Government. The Northern rail franchise will operate on an improvement basis, unlike the no-improvement basis when it was run by the Labour party.”