Today I spoke about Euro infrastructure money. I made the case for this money to be used to improve our local roads and transport connections;
My principal concern is that for many years there has been under-investment in those networks. We have the M20, which is a kind of concrete motorway, and the A2, which has been waiting to be upgraded. On the continent, likewise, the road network, as anyone who has travelled there knows, could be better. A key area for cross-border co-operation could be for the UK Government to consider how those networks could be improved along with the French, the Belgians and the Dunkirk port. A map of Europe shows the so-called golden banana stretching from south-east England towards lower Bavaria, at the heart of which is the Dover strait and the Dover-Calais crossing. Indeed, the Dover-Dunkirk crossing is an important part of the communication and trading links that are so important to our nation's prosperity and to that of Europe.
If the fund is to be extended as suggested, it should not be invested in rail networks in Romania, as my hon. Friend Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested it might be, but in upgrading international transport links between the UK and other countries in the so-called golden banana to help Europe to grow. It is important that we have more growth in Europe and that we support first the area that can provide the value added and recovery generation to drive our European economy forward. My plea to the Financial Secretary and to the Minister of State is to meet me to discuss what we can do in Kent to make the case to France and our friends in Belgium to ensure that we at least get a fair part of the fund to see whether we can improve the transport networks in Kent and take forward the lower Thames crossing.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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