This morning the PM tweeted triumphantly "just done great deal, China to fund, build and operate HS2 at no cost to UK taxpayer"
However this afternoon, alarm spread through Manchester city centre when a large Chinese delegation, assisted by a joint UK / Chinese Border Force, took control of the Manchester Free Trade Hall. Shortly afterwards, the China News Agency was reporting that, as a sweetener for the HS2 deal, the PM had granted China sovereignty over Birmingham and Manchester.
And, n the last few minutes, the Chinese Embassy in London issued the following statement - "With immediate effect, by agreement with the UK Government, Greater Birmingham and Greater Manchester have become part of the People's Republic of China, and will now be known as Brumchuan and Mandong respectively.
No statement has yet been issued by the UK Government. However Downing Street sources confirmed that in return for the HS2 deal Birmingham and Manchester had effectively been gifted to China. He said that the PM had actually offered Liverpool to the Chinese as well, but they said if they were forced to take Liverpool they would walk away from the HS2 deal.
The transfer of these two major UK cities has already gained some unexpected expressions of support. The Duke of Edinburgh tweeted "I don't know Birmingham, is it in Wales. But I've been to Manchester, it's crap, Chinese are welcome to it" And an official spokesperson for Unite said "On behalf of Unite and the Labour Front Bench, I strongly welcome this move," adding "it is just a pity Newcastle and Glasgow were not also ceded to China, both these cities would have been a natural fit with China."