Eurotunnel - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:36 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Tunnicliffe Lord Tunnicliffe Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow Minister (Transport) 6:36 pm, 4th March 2019

My Lords, I thank the Minister for repeating the Answer, but perhaps I may start by repeating the Question: to ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a Statement on the payment of £33 million to Eurotunnel over no-deal ferry contracts. We make no criticism of the National Health Service or anyone else in the supply chain. This Question is directed at the Department for Transport, in particular its leader, Chris Grayling. His catastrophic handling of the DfT’s no-deal preparations is what we are discussing.

Can the Minister spell out in detail why the Government have to pay out £33 million of taxpayers’ money? What were the specific mistakes? What are the detailed improvements that Eurotunnel has agreed to make? Will the entire £33 million be spent on improvements and when will they be ready?

Everything the Secretary of State touches seems to go wrong: from 800 trains per day cancelled as a result of the botched timetable introduction, to the east coast main line being brought back into public control. What action is the Secretary of State planning to improve the performance of his department—or is he going to take the advice of my honourable friend in the other place and resign?