Quarterly reports on environmental impact, costs and progress

Part of High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury) 7:30 pm, 15th July 2019

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. The NDAs that HS2 has are fundamentally to ensure that it can continue to work with businesses, communities and local authorities on issues that are competitive and sensitive. They enable conversations with companies and local authorities about options under consideration. They allow HS2 Ltd to make better recommendations to Government, and to develop better proposals, because it has had access to the right information when making decisions.

We must not forget that NDAs provide value to the taxpayer by reducing uncertainty and by helping to reduce generalised blight. For example, HS2 Ltd entered into such agreements with local authorities in the early stages of exploring route options. I am more than prepared to ensure that HS2 Ltd, if it is able to, sits down with my hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury and goes through every NDA case that she wants to bring forward. HS2 Ltd is not exempt from the national whistleblowing policy in primary legislation. It has not entered into any NDAs with any HS2 staff.