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Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 5:00 pm, 15th July 2019

The hon. Gentleman has very sensibly tempted me into saying something else that I believe. I am completely against these proposals in relation to my constituents and the national interest—it is the biggest white elephant of all time, as all the reports I referred to in my Westminster Hall debate demonstrated. There have been even more since, including one from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, which rated the whole thing as amber—although in fact it probably thinks it is in the red. If only, it said, we could get rid of this ridiculous proposal and put the money where it deserves to go, which is across the country, east to west, which I happen to agree with very strongly. On that point, I had some sympathy with what the shadow Minister said.

There is another factor. This incredible waste of money could make an enormous difference to this country’s coffers in the not very distant future. It seems absurd to be wasting money like this. We hear all these ridiculous arguments about Brexit, but this is the kind of thing that is bringing the country to its knees by virtue of wasted expenditure on projects that are no more than a white elephant.