Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill

Part of Orders of the Day — Schedule 3 – in the House of Commons at 7:08 pm on 1st November 1995.

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Photo of Mr John Watts Mr John Watts , Slough 7:08 pm, 1st November 1995

I am tempted to follow the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) into his fantasy world, but the limited time available to me is better spent in trying to reply to some of the serious points made by right hon. and hon. Members. I remind the hon. Gentleman, however, that the previous Labour Government cancelled the project to build the channel tunnel, so some of his blusterings lack conviction.

There is impatience in the House for the railway to be built and opened as soon as possible, and that impatience was shared by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms Short). The project has taken a number of years to develop, and the House is now rightly considering it in fine detail. Everyone directly affected has had the opportunity to petition and to be heard by the Select Committee.

Justifiable tributes were paid by hon. Members on both sides of the House to the way in which the Select Committee—under the able chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, West (Sir A. Durant)—listened carefully to the petitions and responded in a practical and sympathetic way. The Committee has proposed many important changes. Where it has not done so, the matter must be regarded as settled as far as this House is concerned.