TRANSPORT – TURNAROUND CRUISES – 3 July 2012

Dr Julian Lewis: Before my hon. Friend [Caroline Nokes] gets back into her stride, does she agree that good faith, as well as fairness, should come into account? It was revealed, as a result of a freedom of information request, that Liverpool City Council resisted pressing for a turnaround facility at the outset

“due to advice that there could be state aid complications which could prevent the terminal being built at all.”

The key words are:

“Their approach was to build as a port of call facility and address turnaround later.”

It seems that it was using a Trojan horse tactic and acting in very bad faith.

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Dr Lewis: With regard to the European money, are the Government in a position to make representations to the European Commission on the matter? If the Government think that the Commission is unlikely to ask for the money back, does that not suggest that the Commission acted in a distorting and anti-competitive way when making the money available in the first place?

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mike Penning): My hon. Friend is leading me down a path that I am probably quite happy to be led down. I understand from my legal advice that the Commission has never asked for any such funding back in other, similar cases. Looking around Europe at subsidies, the Commission would probably rather not open such a Pandora's box.]