MPs sign motion to block HS2 Blank Cheque Bill.

The price ticket of HS2

The price ticket of HS2

35 MPs, the majority of whom are not from constituencies affected by the proposed route of HS2, have signed a motion calling for the HS2 Preparation Bill, which calls for a blank cheque to pay for consultants developing the project, to be scrapped before it is due to be debated tomorrow (26th June 2013). The motion, signed by politicians from four parties reads: “This House declines to give a second reading to a Bill which authorises preparatory expenditure on a railway without specifying further detail of the route and a limit on expenditure.”

With several MPs who have expressed long-standing opposition to the project having not yet signed, it is expected that the rebellion against the party whips will increase when the vote happens. Government ministers affected by the route such as Jeremy Wright and David Liddington have conveniently found other things to be doing, so as to avoid having to take part in a vote which would demonstrate if they value their constituents their or careers the most.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said:

“George Osborne will try and say tomorrow that we need infrastructure investments and therefore it follows that because HS2 is an infrastructure investment, we need HS2. This overly simplistic argument is now the only thing Government has got left to tout this boondoggle with because every other argument: that’s it’s needed for capacity, that it’s got green credentials, that it’ll be a magic wand to cure the north-south divide, that it’s got a good business case, or that other countries are doing it have been knocked down. Every one of the stock arguments for HS2 has been knocked down, and all they have left is to stamp their feet and say ‘We want our train set.’” 

“To sign off a blank cheque on a project with little justification, and independent body after independent body delivering scathing assessments is simply irresponsible, and flies in the face of everything else that is being said about needing to tighten belts and be responsible with taxpayers money. Next month, the Public Accounts Committee will surely tear apart the case for HS2 (July 1st), the details of the Amber-Red assessments will have to be made public following a ruling from the Information Commissioner, and the rulings of legal appeals will be out. The Government simply wants to get a quick vote through before any of that happens.”

Penny Gaines, Chair of Stop HS2 said:

“For some time now, Members of Parliament have been voicing their opposition to HS2 behind closed doors. Now, they are becoming more vocal and more obvious. With MPs with constituencies from the South Coast, Wales, East Anglia and beyond signing up to this motion opposing the Blank Cheque Bill, it’s clear that opposition to HS2 comes from all round the country and all political viewpoints.”

“We urge all MPs to look closely at the HS2 proposal, to look at the blank cheque they are being asked to sign and to show the Government that they don’t want the country towaste any more money on HS2.”

The MPs who have signed the motion currently are;

Green:  Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion).

Plaid Cymru: Hywel Williams (Arfon).

Labour: Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras), Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire), Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West) and Jim Cunningham (Coventry South).

Independent: Patrick Mercer (Newark).

Conservative: Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham), Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire), Dan Byles (North Warwickshire), Peter Bone (Wellingborough), Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire), David T. C. Davies (Monmouth), James Clappison (Hertsmere), Julian Lewis (New Forest East), Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset), Charles Walker (Broxbourne), John Baron (Basildon and Billericay), Edward Leigh (Gainsborough), Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight), Stewart Jackson (Peterborough), Bill Cash (Stone), James Gray (North Wiltshire), Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford), Fiona Bruce (Congleton), Steve Baker (Wycombe), David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds), Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham), Christopher Chope (Christchurch), Andrew Rosindell (Romford), Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex), Philip Davies (Shipley), Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton), David Amess (Southend West) and Sarah Wollaston (Totnes). 

11 comments to “MPs sign motion to block HS2 Blank Cheque Bill.”
  1. The transport dept as been there is no more money after they receive extra money to build hs2 .i would bet they will blow all the budget on the first line London to Birmingham by then we will have the next shower in govenment blaming the last lot for not managing the project propley .after distroying our countryside homes and wildlife it makes me sick to see such waist of public money on a project no one wants .and now we are not going to have enough electric to run our homes so hs2 will run on shale gas ? All I need now is them to find my house is built on shale seem and they will have hit the jack box they should put a stop to this project now and have the guts to say we have got it wrong

  2. This is not a blank cheque. Ex minor (not mis-spelt) writes £1 and HS2 just adds a few 000000000………

  3. Most of our MPS act like sheep they all follow each other around eating grass and only look up when the big lorry arrives to take them away .to spend all this money on a project no one wants except them is appalling they should be holding there heads in shame for what they voted for yesterday .never mind lets hope our legal team can try and put a stop to it

  4. I believe that the cost will be more like 100 billion by the time they have compensated those home owners in the south.Now that they are owning up to the rising costs perhaps the M.P.s facing cuts to their departments will sit up and take notice where their money is to be spent.

  5. Looks like you lost the argument?

    The amendment decling to give the bill a second reading was defeated 325 to 37
    The bill’s second reading passed with 330 for, 27 against

    Let’s be honest – you’re fighting a losing battle?

    • Peter Davidson

      As one of the few pro hs2 people I am aware of could you please tell us at what cost hs2 ceases to be a ‘good idea’
      Thanks John

  6. Well another 10 billion on hs2 when is enough to stop this project ? With all the cuts announced today coming to 10billion means all the people which are affected with cuts subsidised hs2 I wonder what they all think about hs2 now and will they be able to afford to use it .if the transport dept are aloud to continue with a blank cheque book I iam sure it will continue to rise in costs .it should be scraped now before any more money is waisted

  7. Interesting there are a number of MPs on this list whose constituencies are not on or near the route. I’m pleased they have seen through the government’s smoke and mirrors. Pity that Messrs Wright, Liddington and Fabricant couldn’t add their names to the list. The compensation argument doesn’t wash because we are some considerable time away from even having a proper scheme in place to pay compensation.

    Challenge to Mr Cameron to remove the whip on parliamentary votes on HS2. If it is such a good idea he has nothing to fear does he ?

    If he doesn’t remove the whip then surely the de-facto decision to proceed with HS2 is the government’s not parliament’s. Hope the judge can see that.

  8. Jeremy Write said he would have voted for if he had been there.I feel that for some reason he and others believe it will be money used for compensation.There would be no need for compensation if itr didnt go ahead and the money used for better things.

  9. Lets all hope the mps are getting the message that there are far better projects to be put before hs2 .we can all live with out hs2 .but we can not do without our a &e depts house building keeping our roads in good order ect .so let us appeal to all mps to think before they let the transport dept loose with unlimited funds of our money to waist on hs2

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