UKEF is not building a multimillion pound railway line in Turkey

(Full Fact, London, 26 July 2023) Earlier this week Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted a screenshot of a UK government press release with the headline “UK announces £680m for new high-speed electric railway in Turkey”. Alongside the screenshot, Mr Burnham tweeted “So we can’t afford to keep our own ticket offices open - but we can afford to build a new line in Turkey?” Mr Burnham’s suggestion that the UK is financing a new railway line in Turkey is misleading—the £680 million figure used in the government press release refers to a loan provided by three banks (J.P. Morgan, ING Bank and BNP Paribas) which has been underwritten by the UK government’s export credit agency. The Italian, Austrian and Swiss export credit agencies are also providing reinsurance.