Michael Fabricant: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his documents and on his crisp and effective chairmanship of the daily XO—EU exit operations—committees. I notice that he talks about the environmental safeguards in great detail. Does he think, therefore, that the current desecration of Cubbington Wood by HS2, despite the moratorium, might be better controlled after Brexit?
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the change to train services at Lichfield Trent Valley (LTV) rail station after the award of the West Coast Main Line rail franchise to First Trenitalia on (a) timetabling, (b) passenger comfort and (c) capacity; and if he will make a statement.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will amend the terms of reference for the Oakervee Inquiry into the future of HS2 to include (a) alterations to the existing route of Phase 1a, (b) cancellation of the existing route of Phase 1a and a proposal new route to link London and Birmingham and (c) cancellation of HS2 in its entirety; and if he will make a statement.
Michael Fabricant: Is my right hon. Friend aware that Israel, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are not in the EU but are members of the Erasmus programme?
Michael Fabricant: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the 594 pieces of legislation that this Parliament has passed in the event of a no-deal Brexit and the corresponding pieces of legislation passed in Brussels mean that the future for Wales, whether it be deal or no deal, is bright?
Michael Fabricant: What recent assessment the Church of England has made of the effect of holding festivals in cathedrals on the number of visiting (a) worshippers and (b) non-worshippers.
Michael Fabricant: I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend for her answer. She will know that the Lichfield festival itself attracts over 50,000 people to the city of Lichfield and brings at least 10,000 people into the cathedral itself, so what action is her Department taking to encourage other cathedrals to do similar initiatives?
Michael Fabricant: What assessment she has made of the economic performance of the region governed by the West Midlands Combined Authority since that authority's formation; and if she will make a statement.
Michael Fabricant: With the Prime Minister’s active encouragement the Mayor of the West Midlands was elected in May 2017, and she has supported him and the region ever since. Over £2 billion has been given to the region by the Prime Minister in the form of grants and guarantees for transport and so many other worthwhile projects, so on behalf of the people of the west midlands may I thank her and may I also...
Michael Fabricant: Good public services need an effective civil service to supervise them. What discussions has the Minister had with the Cabinet Office and my noble Friend Lord Maude about the provision of an effective civil service in developing countries?
Michael Fabricant: rose—
Michael Fabricant: I think that if my hon. Friend, and she is my friend, had been in the Chamber earlier, she would have heard a number of interventions. May I invite her to check Hansard? Perhaps she is forgetting that I was in the Chamber. Perhaps now I should ask my question. She will know that there is no direct benefit to Lichfield, because the train does not stop in the area. She will also know, because I...
Michael Fabricant: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I did speak to the Minister earlier and she suggested that I intervene only once Third Reading had begun and not during the earlier stages. I only wished to comply with her.
Michael Fabricant: I am bemused by the hon. Gentleman’s talk of one or two amendments and tweaking. Does he not think it is more than a tweak when the railway line was originally proposed to use an existing transport corridor up the M40 and then suddenly was changed with a ruler to go straight through the most virgin of countryside? That was more than a tweak.
Michael Fabricant: Mr Deputy Speaker, you will know that I am not a controversial person. Far be it from me for one moment to cause any internecine warfare between my two great friends on the Back Benches, my hon. Friends the Members for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy) and for The Cotswolds (Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown), but I am afraid that I am going to have to take the side of my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford...
Michael Fabricant: My hon. Friend will know that the Government argue, as indeed does the Labour party, that the reason for HS2 is to relieve the congestion on the west coast main line. Is she aware that double-tracking from just north of Rugby down to Euston, where two extra platforms are being prepared anyway, would resolve that problem?
Michael Fabricant: Does my hon. Friend not find it extraordinary that the original proposal by Arup for HS2 was that it should travel parallel to the M40 on an existing transport corridor that would have connected with Heathrow and the channel tunnel, but the Labour Lord, Lord Adonis, changed it to an incredibly environmentally damaging route?
Michael Fabricant: Does my hon. Friend share my concern that—I do not know whether this is because of HS2 or not—at present the Department for Transport has no plans for the replacement of the ageing Pendolino fleet?
Michael Fabricant: The position of Hopton is very similar to that of my own villages, and the problem is exacerbated by the fact that there does not seem to be any co-ordination within HS2 itself. On occasions villagers will get advice from engineers or liaison people from HS2 telling them what route HS2 will take, and then only a week later somebody else from HS2 will give a completely different answer. This...
Michael Fabricant: My hon. Friend is making complete sense. He mentioned Lord Adonis earlier. Is my hon. Friend aware that the original plan for HS2, designed by Arup, would have gone up the M40 and connected with Heathrow, as my right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson) said, and it would have connected with HS1 not by linking in the south at great expense, as the hon. Member for York...