‘A cabinet minister has told the BBC it is his gut feeling that the HS2 high-speed rail line will get the go-ahead.
Stephen Barclay told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the project was vital for “levelling up” the UK’s transport network and improving capacity.
The Brexit secretary’s comments come amid a row over the rising cost of the project, which could reach £106bn.
The first phase of the project is due to link London and Birmingham, followed by extensions to Leeds and Manchester.
Mr Barclay was asked by Andrew Marr for his “gut feeling” about whether the HS2 would be approved. “Yes”, he replied firmly.
He said the government had given a “clear commitment to level up all parts of the United Kingdom… HS2 plays an important part in that”.
That levelling up was not just about improving the speed of transport, but also improving capacity in the UK.
Mr Barclay stressed, though, that it was “important that we also get value for money”.’