A plan by Boris Johnson to build a roundabout under the Isle of Man connecting the different nations of the UK has no Welsh entrance – despite Wales being much closer than England.
Wales is 44 miles from the Isle of Man while the proposed tunnels from England in Liverpool and Heysham are 69 and 76 miles away.
Other tunnels emanating from the giant roundabout would run towards Northern Ireland and Stranraer in Scotland.
The idea is that the tunnel would improve connectivity across the UK at the time when its constituent parts are, constitutionally, drifting apart.
A Whitehall official told the Times that “People think this is all a joke but it’s much more likely to get the go-ahead than people think”.
According to the newspaper, however, the tunnel scheme is regarded as “batshit” by several of Johnson’s senior aides.
It would replace a plan for a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland which has foundered on the basis of the sea between them having been used to dump 1.5 million tons of Second World War munitions.
“The idea was that these three tunnels would meet in a giant roundabout underneath the Isle of Man and the tunnel to Ireland would start there,” a source told the Times. “Everyone knows Boris wants to do this so people were asked to look at how.”