Today Let’s Stop Aquind publishes an open letter to Aquind Limited (READ HERE) with a simple message – withdraw your application for the Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Aquind Interconnector. This project would destroy our environment, choke the citizens of Portsmouth, gridlock the city, threaten national security and damage trust in our democracy.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng is due to announce his decision on the Aquind Interconnector project on January 21st, but with the precious green spaces of the second most densely populated city in the UK and the sensitive natural habitats of Eastern Portsmouth and the South Downs at stake, we are urging Aquind to withdraw its application now.
The campaign against the Aquind Interconnector has broad support across the political spectrum in Portsmouth and beyond, and our letter is endorsed by the leader of Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, a wide range of environmental and community pressure groups in the city as well as Non a Aquind, the campaign leading the resistance to Aquind in Northern France, MP Sebastian Jumel and mayors of French towns affected by Aquind.
Portsmouth is united in its opposition to the plans to lay high voltage electrical cables and a vast capacity fibre-optic network to connect the nuclear power stations of Northern France with Lovedean in the South Downs – it is unwanted, unneeded and in direct contradiction to the government’s own UK green energy policy.
The campaign against Aquind has the unanimous support of city councillors led by Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE, leader of the Council, and both Portsmouth MP’s have consistently expressed their opposition to the scheme, with Minister for Trade Policy Penny Mordaunt publishing her latest letter of objection to the proposals last month and Shadow Education Minister Stephen Morgan presenting a petition of over 6000 signatures to the House of Commons calling on the Secretary of State to reject the Development Consent Order sought by Aquind Limited.
This project is not simply a threat to the environment, wildlife, residents and businesses of Portsmouth: The Aquind Interconnector Project poses a threat to our national security, as highlighted by Penny Mordaunt, Stephen Morgan and Council Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson in the course of the campaign.
Aquind’s ownership, international connections and the £1.6 million in donations its owners and directors have made to the Conservative Party, MP’s, Lords and Ministers have drawn the attention of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, the Panorama investigation into the Pandora Papers and activist group Led by Donkeys.
Aquind has also been identified by The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a New York based think tank funded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, as an example of “malign finance” in this report: “Covert Foreign Money – Financial loopholes exploited by authoritarians to fund political interference in democracies”.
Let’s Stop Aquind has consistently called for a thorough and transparent inquiry into the relationship between the Conservative Party and Aquind Limited, but it is extraordinary that a grassroots community campaign started on Facebook is in the front line against a former arms dealer and a secretive Russian oligarch to protect British democracy from a “coordinated and concerted effort (to) influence British political figures”.
At a time when trust in our political leaders is in question and standards in public life are high on the news agenda, the numerous signatories to this letter show the wide and deep opposition to Aquind (and its tactics) on both sides of the Channel, so please publish and share widely.
The battle to stop Aquind continues with our latest online petition here:
Southsea media company Strong Island Media has produced a number of videos explaining the issues behind Aquind and the grassroots campaign against it which are available on YouTube here.
For further information on Let’s Stop Aquind contact founder Viola Langley by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.