West Coast Main Line

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 10th February 2016.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Opposition Whip (Commons) 11:30 am, 10th February 2016

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport and Ministers of the Scottish Government on the effect on communities in Scotland of the partial closure of the west coast main line.

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland

I have had a number of discussions with the Department for Transport and others to ensure that the closure of the Lamington viaduct, which in my own constituency, is addressed as quickly as possible. We remain absolutely committed to working together with all parties to reopen the west coast line in the first week of March.

Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Opposition Whip (Commons)

I apologise for my lack of voice. The closure of the west coast main line has a huge impact not only on the economy of southern Scotland, but on Cumbria, too, as it is a strategic cross-border crossing on which many businesses in my constituency rely. I was pleased to hear the Secretary of State say that it will be open in the first week of March, as it is so important. Will he confirm that the entirety will be open by 1 March?

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland

I welcome the hon. Lady’s comments because, as she will be aware, my own constituents who use Lockerbie station are among those most affected by these changes. We are determined to get the west coast main line fully reopened in that first week in March.

Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)

The Prime Minister claims that he will get a good deal for Britain in the European Union. Would the Secretary of State like to see the United Kingdom play the same role and have the same powers in the EU that he claims Scotland currently has in the UK?

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell The Secretary of State for Scotland

Mr Speaker, the west coast main line is one of the most important routes within the United Kingdom to Europe via London. I have set out my position in relation to the EU referendum. If the SNP genuinely wants Scotland to remain in the EU, it is important that, rather than concentrate on process issues, it gets out and campaigns for it.