BUSINESS QUESTION – PORT OF SOUTHAMPTON – 8 September 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: The privately owned port of Liverpool received more than £20 million of public money from this country and Europe to develop a cruise liner terminal, with the explicit provision that cruises should not start or end there, but only call there. It now proposes to repay a quarter of this sum over 15 years if the provision that it cannot have a turnaround facility is lifted. That would adversely affect the port of Southampton. May we have a statement from a Transport Minister on what seems to be a calculated case of unfair competition now that it has been revealed that Liverpool city council planned from the outset to get the port built and then renege on the condition on which it was being done?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Sir George Young): I understand my hon. Friend's concern on behalf of the port of Southampton. He will know that a consultation exercise is currently being carried out by the Department for Transport on the proposal to allow turnaround cruises, to which he has just referred. The consultation closes on 15 September. If he wants to respond, his views will be taken into account along with those of other respondents.]