A final decision on the future of HS2 – now estimated to cost £106 billion – will be made “very shortly,” Boris Johnson has told MPs.

The Prime Minister is due to have a private meeting with Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, and Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, tomorrow when they are expected to sign off the final decision. However, a formal announcement in a Commons statement is not due until after Brexit Day, which means next week.

During PMQs, Tory backbencher Kevin Hollinrake, who represents Thirsk and Malton in North Yorkshire, asked about the rail scheme that is planned to link London, Birmingham and eventually Manchester and Leeds.

He asked: "Does the Prime Minister agree that we need to increase capacity in our railways in and between the North, the Midlands, the South and Scotland, and unless we want decades of disruption, the only way to do this through the Midlands Engine rail, Northern Powerhouse rail and HS2?"

The Tory benches erupted into shouts of "no" as Mr Johnson stood up to give his reply.

"I can tell my honourable friend that we are not only building the Northern Powerhouse rail and investing in a Midlands rail hub but, as he knows, we are looking into whether and how to proceed with HS2. And the House can expect an announcement very shortly," explained the PM.

New northern Conservative MPs were among those calling on their party leader to push forward with the HS2 project.

Paul Howell, the Tory MP for Sedgefield, said: "I hope to see a positive decision on HS2 with its potential to reconnect the North with London."

Mr Johnson replied: "I can tell him that there will be a decision on HS2 very shortly if he can just contain his patience a little bit longer."

Fellow Conservative Kieran Mullan, who represents Crewe and Nantwich,added: "Given the Prime Minister's proven track record in overcoming prevarication, procrastination, dither and delay, will he repeat that success and do as my honourable other friends have asked and get HS2 done to secure jobs across the country and in Crewe and Nantwich."

Mr Johnson replied: "I just want to reassure all of my honourable friends and everybody, whatever persuasion they may be about HS2 across this Chamber, that there will be an announcement and a decision very shortly."

On Sunday, Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, set a hare running when he said his “gut feeling” was that the high-speed project would go ahead, noting that it was vital for "levelling up" the UK's transport network and improving capacity.

The HS2 link is due to open between London and Birmingham by the end of 2026.

Last year, Mark Thurston, the HS2 Limited Chief Executive, said the project would "significantly" cut journey times to Glasgow and Edinburgh from the south.