UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has slammed the ‘insulting’ amount of cash being provided by the European Union to help pay for Britain’s HS2 rail link.
She claimed the Government was only pressing ahead with the £55 billion-plus project because of pressure from the EU’s ‘Connecting Europe’ campaign.
But it has now been revealed that Brussels is only prepared to pay 39.2 million Euros – around £30 million – towards the ever-spiralling cost of the HS2 project.
“This funding – which isn’t even being paid up front in one lump sum – is insulting,” said West Midlands MEP Mrs Seymour.
“HS2 is a vanity project which does not have a valid business case, and pressure from the EU is one of the main reasons it is being built. For the EU to now offer such a paltry sum towards the £55 billion-plus construction costs of HS2 is just another slap in the face for the British taxpayer.
“If the Brussels bureaucrats want HS2 in Britain to fit into its grand plan for a Europe-wide rail network, the least they could do is put their money where their mouths are. “But as usual, we just get interference that we don’t want in our affairs – instead of a fair financial investment recognising the amount of money we hand over to the EU every single day.”
Mrs Seymour added: “UKIP would scrap the HS2 scheme immediately because it is a flawed EU-driven vanity project, and a national disgrace.
“It has no business case, as it will leave our country riddled with escalating debt. Never mind how many people’s lives and communities it will destroy, ripping up graveyards and ancient woodlands.
“I do not want to see our precious environment ruined by this destructive rail line – nor do I want to see British taxpayers having to foot the bill for a line which the vast majority of them will never use.
Mrs Seymour added: “What passengers want is an affordable, comfortable, reliable and efficient rail network system that delivers from south to north, and east to west.
“We already have a network in place, but it is desperate for improvement, alternative options have been offered at much less cost.”