Let’s Stop Aquind co-founders Paula Savage and Viola Langley joined a virtual meeting with both Portsmouth MP’s, Council Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson and the Editor of the Portsmouth News Mark Waldron yesterday. The meeting discussed the ongoing threat that the Aquind Interconnector poses to the environment, the residents of Portsmouth & the South Downs, and to the national interest.
Gerald Vernon-Jackson has long been a vocal opponent of the scheme and his support is much appreciated. We were also delighted that both Stephen Morgan and Penny Mordaunt made time within their schedules to prioritise the campaign against Aquind.
Gerald updated the meeting on the status of the judicial review that Aquind is seeking to bring against the Secreatry of State’s decision not to allow the Interconnector project. Everyone attending felt that Aquind is “clutching at straws” as there are no grounds to challenge the decision, but Aquind is looking to exploit any errors made in the process. Penny Mordaunt made it clear that the legal opinion she had been given is that there is no legitimate challenge that Aquind can make with regards to the way that the government arrived at the decision, which she has full confidence in.
Stephen Morgan contributed his research into the success rate of civil cases lodged against government departments, which stands at only 1%. He added he will continue to ask questions of Ministers and speak up on the city’s concerns in Parliament. The energy landscape in the UK, France and throughout Europe has of course changed drastically recently, and even the worst case scenario of an Aquind win only gets them back to “square one” and an uphill fight to justify an unwanted and unneeded project, rejected on both sides of the English Channel.
While it is regrettable that the judicial review process takes place behind the closed doors of the High Court, PCC has applied to become an Interested Party and expects to be fully informed of the timetable and progress of any action taken by Aquind’s legal representatives. If it comes to court, Let’s Stop Aquind will be there to put our case against the Interconnector, against Aquind Limited and against the people funding the company. LSA and the Portsmouth News will persist in speaking out in public, despite the constant threat of legal action by Aquind’s lawyers looking to stifle our voices and those of media organisations investigating the company.
We continue to be in full unity and solidarity against Aquind, across the board politically and across the city and beyond. This is our strength, and we are resolved to see this through to the end. Together we WILL stop Aquind.