Johnson Steps Up Plan For Bridge To Northern Ireland

The Independent reports:

Boris Johnson is stepping up work on his plan to build a £20 billion bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, despite experts dismissing it as “clueless” and “bonkers”. A “proper piece of work” is under way in Whitehall, his spokesman said, arguing it proved the prime minister is “ambitious in terms of infrastructure projects”.

“This is an idea that the prime minister has expressed interest in in the past and I think he said at the time ‘watch this space’,” the spokesman said. “Government officials are carrying out work in relation to the idea of a bridge linking GB mainland to NI. There’s a proper piece of work being carried out into the idea.”

The Guardian reports:

Johnson, who as London mayor spearheaded the doomed garden bridge project which cost more than £50m without work even beginning, first raised the idea of the 20-mile-plus bridge to Larne in Northern Ireland in 2018.

He called again for the link during the Conservative leadership campaign, despite engineers expressing scepticism at the idea of building such a link over waters more than 300 metres deep in places, parts of which were used by the Ministry of Defence to dump more than 1 million tonnes of obsolete munitions.

The plan has been seen as a concession to Northern Irish unionists, especially given their concern at new customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK under Johnson’s Brexit plan.