Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:38 am on 10th December 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:38 am, 10th December 2020

My hon. Friend is right to be a champion for levelling up, and the integrated rail plan will focus on sequencing and delivering transformational rail improvements along the HS2 and northern powerhouse rail routes so that their benefits are delivered to communities as quickly as possible. On the eastern leg, the integrated rail plan will consider how to sequence delivery to ensure that the benefits are realised sooner and to ensure it is integrated with plans for northern powerhouse rail and other rail investment projects. I recognise that there are concerns about what the NIC is likely to suggest in its report, but it is an independent body so it is right that we wait to see what it has to say in its evaluation of the evidence and in undertaking its assessment. Once the report is published, Ministers will consider the conclusions. I hope that provides a degree of reassurance to my hon. Friend.