The second reading in the House of Lords of the HS2 Phase 2a bill is due today, and normally we’d be telling you we’d be live-tweeting, (as @Penny_Gaines and @JoeRukin), except we don’t actually know when they are will get to it.
The HS2 bill is last on the order paper, so it would be relatively late anyway.
But with the changes from yesterday in the House of Commons, the EU withdrawal bill will be debated earlier on. This could take many hours: one website says they are preparing for 100 hours of debate, with over 100 amendments tabled.
What’s more, members of the House of Lords are apparently taking in duvets, requesting chocolate and planning a Jethro Tull themed sleepover between votes (our upper chamber knows how to party!), with Andrew Adonis joining in the fun:
Look forward to discussing our summer reading at 3am Dick!
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) September 4, 2019
And there is also going to be a House of Commons vote on whether to hold a General Election.
The upshot of that being, we don’t know when the Lords will get to debate the HS2 bill, or whether they will debate it, or quite what’s happening. But there is a certain irony in Adonis’ favourite project being delayed by his least favourite project.
In one bright spot, HS2 was mentioned in the Spending Round speech from Sajid Javid, who told the House of Commons:
We’ll set a high bar for funding projects, and they’ll have to show real value for money, with credible delivery plans and budgets starting with the government’s rapid review of HS2.
We will update twitter from time to time, but don’t expect us to be informed!