Plaid Cymru calls again on Labour Welsh Government to recogniser its decision not to pursue HS2 legal challenge

The Labour Welsh Government’s decision not to initiate a legal challenge to the UK Government’s decision to withhold HS2 consequential funding for Wales is a “worrying signal of things to come” should Keir Starmer become Prime Minister, Plaid Cymru have said.

The estimated cost of the HS2 line from London to Birmingham has spiralled to as much as £66bn – yet Wales is being denied as much as £4bn of consequential funding due to the designation of HS2 as an ‘England and Wales’ project. Scotland gets its fair share.

In a recent written answer to Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth, Labour’s Counsel General confirmed the Welsh Government had decided not to pursue a legal challenge, a decision Mr ap Iorwerth said was tantamount to “waving the white flag”.

Ahead of a Plaid Cymru amendment in the Senedd calling for the Labour Welsh Government to reverse its decision, Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“We know that the UK Conservative Government want to put a stranglehold on Wales’ finances and have been intent on keeping Wales in the slow lane by not redesignating HS2 an England only project.

“But we would have expected better from Labour, a party that purports to be ‘standing up for Wales’.

“Despite Labour Ministers claiming that that they are on the same side as Plaid Cymru on the unfairness of the lack of HS2 consequentials, it now seems that they are no more than weasel words when we see their ambivalence towards pursuing the matter.

“This is a worrying signal of things to come should Keir Starmer become the next Prime Minister and giving Wales the silent treatment on HS2 speaks volumes about Labour’s attitude to fair funding.

“The absence of resolve shown by the Counsel General is tantamount to waving the white flag.

“If the Vaughan Gething premiership is going to be something other than the same old, the First Minister must reconsider his government’s decision to let the UK Government off the hook.”