“I am no supporter of HS2 as it carves a devastating route through Staffordshire” says Michael Fabricant “but when I heard that UKIP are claiming that HS2 is being constructed under orders from Brussels as a consequence of the TEN-T directive, I just had to check this out as it just didn’t ring true. We need to use the correct approach to tackle the HS2 issue properly.
“So I contacted Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, who was as surprised as me to hear these wild claims.”
Patrick McLoughlin responded by saying: “HS2 is a vital project that will help promote economic growth by providing the long-term transport capacity our country so manifestly needs. The decision to proceed with HS2 is of national importance, and NOT a consequence of the TEN-T directive from Europe.
“It is plain wrong for UKIP to claim otherwise and they should stop misleading people.
“The Government is clear that decisions on which transport projects should be developed and invested in should remain with the Member States concerned, including the United Kingdom – as they do today.”
Michael adds: “I also double-checked this with Brussels. Even they say this is not the case! TEN-T, the Trans European Network for Transport, is a long-term European infrastructure plan aimed at improving cross-border links and removing existing bottlenecks in the European transport network. It is a wish-list, not an instruction, as the EU has no power to direct the UK on this.
“If we are to deal effectively with HS2 in our area by getting the route changed, maximising compensation and mitigating the effects of the line, the EU is NOT the way as they are irrelevant in this particular matter. The matter must be fought hard in Parliament, in Whitehall, and with HS2 themselves. It is deceitful and misleading to suggest otherwise.”
Philip Bradbourne, the Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands adds: "UKIP’s line that HS2 is an EU driven project is simply untrue. No member state can be forced to build infrastructure against its will."