Supporters of HS2 might have been relieved with the publication of the Scottish Nationalist Party’s manifesto today. In the manifesto and during the questions and answer session after her manifesto speech, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said that they wanted HS2 built south from Scotland at the same time as building it from the south northwards.
However what is really key is how the MPs in Westminster will vote – and Nicola Sturgeon is not standing as a Westminster MP.
Meanwhile Stewart Hosie, Parliamentary candidate for Dundee East and SNP Deputy Leader told Sky News:
If the polls are right and our substantial lead is translated into votes in a hung parliament position, if there was a minority Labour administration which needed our help in order to get their legislation through, we might well make a case for saying look, let’s not have HS2 go to Manchester and Birmingham, let’s have it start in Edinburgh, Glasgow, coming through Newcastle as well, so we have a joined up high-speed rail network across the whole of the island, to the benefit of everybody, not just those travelling from Birmingham to the south.
And other potential MPs such as Alex Salmond is quoted as saying:
Mr Salmond suggested his party could propose amendments to the Budget, saying: “Instead of this very, very slow train coming up from London, I think we should start it from Edinburgh/Glasgow to Newcastle and I put that down as a budget amendment.”
“It would have substantial support from the north of England and other parties and would carry the House of Commons,” he went on to predict.
Whatever the SNP party in Scotland want, what matters is how their MPs in London vote. And their Westminster candidates are not as enthusiastic as the SNP in Edinburgh.