Eurotunnel: Payment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy) 5:45 pm, 4th March 2019

I wish to echo the question: where is the £2.7 billion man? I have asked him to step aside several times, I have challenged the Prime Minister to sack him and now he has his own social media hashtag—FailingGrayling. Surely now is the time he has to go.

Apparently, we hear that this is not compensation for Eurotunnel but a contract for vital services. If they were so vital, why did it take Eurotunnel going to court to get a contract? Why was Eurotunnel overlooked in the first place? The secrecy on this is a real concern. How much documentation is still hidden away from public view? If the no-deal contract is not invoked, how much money will still be paid to Eurotunnel? Why on earth would the Health Secretary entrust the transportation of life-saving medicines to the Transport Secretary?

Bechtel is set to sue the Government over the HS2 tender process. What other departmental procurement risks still exist? After his efforts at the Ministry of Justice cost us £600 million, the Transport Secretary has allowed Virgin Trains East Coast to walk away owing £2 billion; he has blamed Network Rail for mishaps when he is in charge of the organisation; and he has culpability for Southern rail, for the £38 million Northern rail timetable fiasco and for the £800,000 ferry due diligence contract, where due diligence was not carried out on the company with no ships. He has tried to argue that the Seaborne fiasco has not cost the taxpayer any money. Only for this Transport Secretary can this £33 million be just the tip of a financial iceberg. What does it take for him to be sacked—or to do the decent thing and walk away?