Gove Tries to Befriend Farmers by Promising Brexit Money for Rural 4G

By Gary Cutlack on at

Environment secretary Michael Gove has had another idea about where all that money we soon won't/might not have to pay the EU could be used -- better rural 4G and broadband. That's what he told a meeting of the National Farmers Union anyway. Maybe he just wanted to get out of the countryside alive.

Gove's speech made some bonkers claims about what sort of connected utopia the UK of the near future might be once we're no longer in the EU, with one particular highlight being this quote, where Gove promises: "Universal broadband and 4G coverage for all — paid for by the money we no longer have to give to the EU — that is what we mean by taking back control."

Not everything he said makes you want to core out your ears with a potato peeler, though, as describing superfast broadband as an essential utility — "the necessary infrastructure of all our lives in these times, as essential as mains electricity or clean drinking water" — has got to be a good thing, if the rest of the government can be convinced to think likewise.

He also had a bit of a dig at the cost of HS2 in an attempt to please the rural crowd, saying: "We’re planning to spend north of £60 billion on HS2, 30 times as much as it would cost to provide universal superfast broadband for everyone in the country. Surely investment in broadband is just as vital, and an urgent part of improving our critical national infrastructure." [GOV via The Times]