Here's a short Andrew Neil interview, conducted via Twitter:
George Osborne: An army of people here at Euston are already working on HS2. It would have been nuts to cancel it.
Andrew Neil: All that work at Euston must be doing the North a power of good!
George Osborne: Well, it will - because better connecting the north to the midlands and south will change our economic geography. It’s just like the opposition to the M25, the Channel Tunnel, HS1 and the original railways in c19 - people love infrastructure in theory and oppose it in practice.
Andrew Neil: I didn’t oppose any of these so can your red herrings. Answer this: what adds more to UK productivity: a fast train London to Brum or a Leeds-Manchester-Liverpool fast train that creates a labour market bigger than Greater London.
Hopefully, George Osborne will continue this today and answer Andrew's question. I'm with Andrew on this one. A Leeds-Morecambe- Manchester-Liverpool fast train is much the better idea.