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To: Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Stop Aquind

We demand the Business Secretary stops the Aquind interconnector and data cable once and for all by refusing to grant Aquind development consent on 21 January 2022, the deadline for his decision.

We also want the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to scrutinise the structure and the sources of Aquind's funds with a full and independent investigation and assess the security risk this company poses.

Why is this important?

Aquind must be stopped. This project erodes our democratic rights. It is no longer simply a planning issue and goes beyond the significant impact it will have on local communities.

Aquind's planning application must be refused on the grounds of an unfeasible route through a densely populated island city with unique wildlife areas and green spaces ending in a National Park. The negative impact on traffic, residents and wildlife is too great. The people of Portsmouth, communities along the route, Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth’s Tory and Labour MPs unanimously oppose this project yet Aquind consistently dismisses these concerns.

It is also unnecessary and surplus to the Government's own projected interconnection needs; by the time it is operational (in up to 7 years' time), it risks being redundant. The massive data cable it wants to lay alongside the high voltage cables falls outside the planning remit. There has been no proper scrutiny as to whether Aquind is an appropriate company for such a significant national infrastructure project.

The Tory party has taken over £1.5 million in donations from Aquind-related sources. Nearly 1 in 10 Tory MPs took donations. The BBC Panorama and Guardian investigation into the Pandora Papers financial leak raised questions about the murky financial dealings of Aquind's owner, Viktor Fedotov – questions that the Tory party has not answered. The Business Secretary has even written letters of support to Aquind during the planning process. Any decision made can't possibly be impartial. Communities should not be cut off from decision-making by the cosy relationships business and ministers create with their political donations from opaque offshore companies, revolving doors and contracts for mates.

How it will be delivered

We will email the signatures.

Portsmouth, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2022-01-21 15:14:09 +0000

Yesterday the Business Secretary announced that he would NOT grant Aquind a Development Consent Order (DCO).

Thank you everyone – together we can hold government to acocunt.

We are certain that the Business Secretary’s decision will be upheld. The risks Aquind poses to wildlife habitats, residents’ health and well-being, to businesses and to national security are too great.

However, we have been shocked and angry that it has fallen on ordinary citizens in Portsmouth to call out a major national security risk and be forced to hold Ministers to account for breaching standards in public life.

There is much work to do to improve political accountability and close the legal loopholes that allow foreign money to influence political decision-making. We do not want other communities to have to face a similar scenario. Aquind did not need to happen and should not have got this far.

But, for now we celebrate!

2022-01-17 10:39:41 +0000

Friday 21 January is the deadline for the Business Secretary to announce a decision on Aquind's application for planning permission. If this permission is granted it would give Aquind the green light to start. We would immediately plan a protest and encourage Portsmouth City Council to launch legal proceedings. We will be equally disappointed if the decision is deferred as this will be the fifth time!

We are emailing your signatures to Kwasi Kwarteng at the end of today (17 January) to let him know what ordinary people think of this disastrous project and demand that he refuses to grant Aquind a development consent order. Your voice will join the 6,000 plus signatures that we collected in the summer of 2021 and were submitted to Parliament by Portsmouth South's MP, Stephen Morgan.

We will keep this petition live so that if needed we can carry on collecting signatures beyond Friday 21 January.

Thank you everyone for speaking up!

2022-01-01 11:24:34 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2021-12-17 11:54:43 +0000

500 signatures reached

2021-12-14 16:35:17 +0000

100 signatures reached

2021-12-14 14:45:52 +0000

50 signatures reached

2021-12-14 12:22:39 +0000

25 signatures reached

2021-12-14 11:52:33 +0000

10 signatures reached