BORIS JOHNSON is exploring plans to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland to fix the Brexit deadlock, it is claimed.
The Prime Minister is said to have asked government officials to look at the costs and risks of a 28-mile bridge across the Irish Sea.
Boris Johnson is exploring plans to build a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland, it is reported[/caption]
But unexploded World War Two bombs are believed to be one of the risks to the project, documents seen by Channel 4 say.
Mr Johnson asked “where this money could come from” and “the risks around the project”, with “WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea” highlighted in the files.
The Department for Transport reportedly produced a paper on the bridge plans after talks with the DUP and ex-Secretary of State Chris Grayling.
BRIDGE TOO FAR?
It comes after a turbulent spell at No 10 for Mr Johnson, who last night lost his sixth parliamentary vote out of six when MPs shot down his plan for a new election.
Parliament is now prorogued until October 15, with Britain due to leave the EU on October 31.
The Northern Ireland backstop remains the biggest hurdle to overcome in negotiations, with Mr Johnson demanding it is scrapped.
Last year, he was mocked for raising the idea of a 28-mile bridge last year when he was Foreign Secretary.
What we need to do is build a bridge between our islands. Why don’t we? Why don’t we?
Boris Johnson, speaking last year
Mr Johnson suggested building a bridge which would run from western Scotland to Northern Ireland, claiming it would shore up the Union.
He insisted at the time he was serious about the idea, telling the Sunday Times: “What we need to do is build a bridge between our islands.
“Why don’t we? Why don’t we?
“There is so much more we can do, and what grieves me about the current approach to Brexit is that we are just in danger of not believing in ourselves, not believing in Britain.”
But others, including the then Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, appeared to poke fun at the plan, which has now surfaced again.
Mr Javid joked: “Flight from Birmingham to Belfast delayed. Wish there was a bridge. Wait…”
WORLD'S LONGEST BRIDGES
- The world’s longest bridge is the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge in China
- It opened in June 201 and spans 102.4 miles.
- The bridge is part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway.
- The second longest bridge in the world,the Langfang–Qingxian viaduct, is 70.8 miles long.
- Thailand’s 34-mile-long Bang Na expressway is the world’s longest road bridge.
- Portugal’s Vasco de Gama 10.7-mile is the longest bridge in Europe.
- The Bromford Viaduct is the longest bridge in the UK, spanning 3.4 miles.
David Davis poured cold water on the idea, saying to Sky News: “He wants to cancel HS2 and spend it on a bridge to Northern Ireland. I don’t want to do that.”
Scottish Tories boss at the time Ruth Davidson said Boris should observe “a period of silence” and stop suggesting outlandish ideas.
While Mayor of London, Mr Johnson backed actress Joanna Lumley’s push for a Garden Bridge across the Thames.
The idea was scrapped after a spend of £43 million as it was likely to cost more than the expected £185 million budget.A government spokesman tonight said it was “no secret” the Prime Minister supported new infrastructure projects.
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A government spokesperson told Channel 4 News: “Government regularly commissions work to examine the feasibility of projects.
“During the leadership campaign candidates spoke about a number of issues which resulted in Number 10 commissions ahead of a new Prime Minister taking over.
“This PM has made no secret of his support for infrastructure projects that increase connectivity for people and particularly those that strengthen the Union.”
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