The Government has been accused in the Supreme Court of "cutting corners" to push through the HS2 national high-speed rail project.
The Government has hailed a "landmark victory" for its HS2 high-speed rail scheme, despite legal flaws in the consultation process.
At a cost of £33 billion, this train line is neither cheap nor very popular with those living along its route.
David Cameron has promised China's leadership that there will be "very open competition" for investments in Britain's HS2 high-speed rail link which would link Yorkshire to London.
The Prime Minister said he made the pledge during talks in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, who expressed an interest in putting Chinese money behind the controversial project.
His comments came during a question session at Shanghai's Jiao Tong university where Mr Cameron stressed Premier Li's characterisation of Britain and China as "indispensible partners" as an indication of the deepening bonds between the two countries.
He explained to students why the Government is having to fight to build one high-speed rail line, while China has successfully completed 6,214 miles (10,000km) of track.
The government today published the official bill detailing the route HS2 will take. It is 50,000 pages long and details a route across hundreds of kilometres of countryside
But the document was greeted by protests outside parliament, where campaigners from Yorkshire met with others from across the country to try to stop the project. They say it will blight their homes. Calendar's political correspondent Paul Brand reports
HS2 bill and the environmental statement that comes with it are 50,000 pages long - 5 times the height of these books.
The HS2 Hybrid Bill that is to go before Parliament will give details on how the first phase of the high speed rail project should progress.
The High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill will provide government powers to allow the construction and operation of the railway.
It will outline powers to:
- build and maintain the first phase of HS2 and its associated works, including secure planning permission for the works;
- compulsorily acquire interests in the land required;
- affect or change rights of way, including the stopping-up or diversion of highways and waterways (permanently or temporarily);
- modify infrastructure belonging to statutory undertakers (e.g. utility companies);
- carry out protective works to buildings and third-party infrastructure.
Campaigners against the HS2 rail scheme are going to Westminster today. It is as the Department for Transport will publish plans for the high speed line which will go to Parliament.
The publication of the Bill for phase one of the HS2 plan marks a significant milestone in the high speed rail project. Once Royal Assent has been achieved, it is expected that construction of the line from London to Birmingham will begin in 2016/2017 allowing the line to open in 2026.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the HS2 scheme was the 'most ambitious' infrastructure plan since the building of the M25 motorway around London.
– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation's prosperity.
The Bill will give us the powers we need to get the railway built and start delivering the extra room on our railways that this country so desperately needs. It will also start the process of rebalancing the economy and bringing our great cities closer together.
That is why the Bill is so important - it marks the move from aspiration to delivery. Now is the time to be bold and ensure HS2 becomes a reality.
The future of Britain's high speed rail network enters a key phase of its development when a HS2 hybrid Bill goes before Parliament later today.
As part of the process, opponents of the £50 billion HS2 scheme will have the chance to petition Parliament and have their case heard by a committee of MPs.
The Government has also published an "environmental statement" for the London-Birmingham phase one of the scheme.
Legislation that kick-starts building the controversial high speed railway line linking Leeds to London has been granted royal assent.
MPs were informed that the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act 2013 has been formally agreed by the Queen, with the legislation allowing the Government to spend money planning the HS2 route in detail and buying up property from residents and businesses along the proposed track.
The project, estimated to cost around £50 billion, is intended to link London to Birmingham by 2026, with two branches then heading to Manchester and Leeds, via Sheffield, being built by 2033.
City leaders have shown their support for HS2, which would run between London and Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester, at Downing Street.
A dozen council chiefs, including some from Scotland, met Prime Minister David Cameron to pledge their backing for the £50 billion high-speed project.
The leaders posed outside Number 10 with Mr Cameron holding a long banner bearing the words High Speed Rail for High Speed Cities.