The Stop HS2 view on the EU Referendum

If you didn’t get the update email yesterday from Stop HS2, you are not subscribed to our email list (join it here), and therefore a very naughty person! If you did get that email, you’ll have already seen it – along with some other information, we’ve only shared by email. If you’re still reading, it’s either because you always read everything on this site, or you are still undecided about the EU referendum and hoping we might point you one way or another.

The reality is that the Stop HS2 campaign decided not to take an official stance on the EU Referendum today, mostly because like the rest of the UK population, we’re split right down the middle, but that doesn’t mean we can provide some facts, which believe it or not come from either side of the debate.

We have been pushed to come out, because of course many people believe HS2 was demanded by the EU TEN-T directive of 1996. As a result, we’ve been asked a lot what a possible Brexit vote might mean for HS2. On that score, whether TEN-T was responsible at the start or not, it’s now a complete red herring. HS2 has a life of its’ own, and we’re well beyond the point where TEN-T matters now, but there are other issues in play.

We had decided that we were going to stay out of it altogether, but that changed when Prime Minister David Cameron dragged us into the debate, saying that HS2 was under threat from Brexit. He made this statement in Yorkshire, still under the bizarre impression that HS2 is somehow a vote winner, and following this news, the pro-remain Stop HS2 Chair Penny Gaines wrote ‘Cripes! What a conundrum’.

Then, a week ago at the final PMQs before the referendum, the very last question was about HS2, when off-route Christchurch MP Christopher Chope (who just happens to be Pennys MP!) brought up HS2, asking how we can afford it if we’re meant to be skint. Cameron replied, not surprisingly missing the point of the question, saying without realising he was saying it, that if there was gong to be an economic shock following a Brexit vote, then the estimates he was quoting put that at far less than the cost of HS2.

Brexit supporting Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin responded with this: PMQs: Cameron dodges the question, but says Brexit costs less than HS2

So if you were undecided, maybe all the links above will help. Or maybe not! Hey, you’ve got to decide on your own, but however you vote today, let’s make sure we Stop HS2!

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