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Dartford MP Gareth Johnson claims EU exit won’t affect Lower Thames Crossing plans

PUBLISHED: 11:44 24 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:56 24 June 2016

South Portal Lower Thames Crossing

South Portal Lower Thames Crossing

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Chancellor George Osborne had warned of £30billion spending cuts after a Brexit

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson describes himself as a 'critical friend' of the BBCDartford MP Gareth Johnson describes himself as a 'critical friend' of the BBC

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has welcomed Britain’s exit from the EU following Thursday’s referendum, and claims plans for a new Thames Crossing will still go ahead despite potential spending cuts.

Speaking after the announcement on Friday, the Conservative MP warned there would be “difficult times ahead”, but remained optimistic.

More than 64 per cent of Dartford’s electorate voted to leave the EU, a move which chancellor George Osborne warned last week could see £30billion worth of tax rises and spending cuts across the country.

Earlier this year Highways England consulted on a proposed Thames crossing east of Gravesend, which would aim to relieve traffic at the Dartford Crossing

But Mr Johnson, believes the Lower Thames Crossing project, estimated to cost up to £5.9billion is not under threat by spending cuts.

Speaking after the Leave result, he said: “I don’t think this will affect the Lower Thames Crossing, at the moment the government has said it is looking at trying to secure private funding, if not it will come from public funds. But it is not reliant on us being in the EU.”

Speaking of the election result Mr Johnson said: “This is clearly a new era for Britain.

“I always thought that David Cameron’s departure was a possibility if we voted to leave the EU.

“Dartford voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU and I am proud to have supported this position too. We are today, entering a new chapter but I feel strongly that leaving the EU will ultimately be a good thing for the UK.

“There will undoubtedly be difficult times ahead but it is essential we keep our nerve.

“Britain can stand proud today and look forward to a better future.

“We are strong enough to make a success of this new direction for our country and so we need to take this opportunity to move Britain forward.”

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