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Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 7:00 pm, 15th July 2019

That is a perfectly fair point, but there is no money tree. There is a limited amount of private and public money. I put to the hon. Lady that her constituents and mine have suffered for generations from the innate disadvantage of living in a remote rural area, 200 miles from London. With this new broadband technology, they can suddenly be level pegging with someone in the middle of Manchester or the middle of London. They can be just as competitive when talking to a customer in Ulan Bator or San Francisco. We are all absolutely level, but we have to have broadband. A spokesman from Openreach, picking up on the comments of my right hon. Friend Boris Johnson, said last week that

“building full fibre technology to the whole of the UK isn’t quick or easy. It requires £30 billion and a physical build to more than 30m front doors, from suburban terraces to remote crofts.”

Think of the benefit to our constituents if we had full fibre for £30 billion, which was the original estimate for HS2. This project is getting out of control.