Boris Johnson is ‘serious’ about Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge, says ex comms chief
Boris Johnson is “serious” about building a tunnel or bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to his former comms chief.
Welsh broadcaster Guto Harri, who was Johnson’s communications director when he was London mayor, said it was part of the UK Prime Minister’s plan to “maintain the Union”.
He made the comments during an interview for Boris’s Tunnel Vision – a documentary co-produced by BBC Radio Ulster and Radio Scotland.
According to former Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, the project could cost a staggering £33 billion if it goes ahead.
Another former Boris Johnson aide, Dominic Cummings once described the plans as “the world’s most stupid tunnel to Ireland”.
The proposed plan for the bridge would put the structure between Portpatrick in Wigtownshire, Scotland, and Larne in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
While there are only 12 miles between Scotland and Ireland at the closest point, in the stretch of water that is being considered there are thousands of tonnes of World War Two munitions.
They were dumped in the Beaufort Dyke, a deep trench which runs down the middle of the Irish Sea. There is also radioactive waste in the area.
But Harri told the BBC that Johnson has “serious intent”, and that the idea shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.
He said: “He wants to maintain the Union and he wants to persuade the rest of the world that we’re still big players and can build big things – and what would be bigger than a tunnel under the Irish Sea, linking Scotland and Northern Ireland?”
‘Third London Airport’
He also remembers how enthusiastic Johnson was about a proposal to build a third London Airport in the Thames Estuary.
“I remember him ringing up a Tory MP in the House of Commons and singing Dolly Parton’s ‘Islands in the Stream. that is what we are’ down the phone to him,” he said.
“He made it look as if it was a joke, but he was very serious.”
According to Harri, in the end, a lack of finance and authority forced Johnson to abandon his floating airport project.
Johnson has asked Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, to include the idea of a fixed link in the Irish Sea in his major review of the UK’s road, rail and air infrastructure. The review is set to be published in the next few weeks.
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I’m all for Celtic connectivity. By the time it’s finished the tunnel could make a useful link between an independent Scotland and a united Ireland.
Exactly. That tunnel or bridge will do nothing to keep the UK together. The momentum for disintegration of the UK is increasing.
No offense to our esteemed Prime Minister but being Scottish with Irish and Northern Irish family members it would be nice if he were to ask us all if we want one.
Serious about that bridge or tunnel ? That makes him an even bigger nut than I thought he was.
The man is a bufoon. But he does have survival skills. Eton teaches you those.
Johnson, rather than wasting money on a vanity project – put the money into our poverty stricken communities, help our hungry children. Do something right for a change.
If Boris Johnson promised, its likely a lie. Don’t forget. He has a vast record of lying through his fixed smirk. 1: As London Mayor, in 2009 promised to end rough sleeping by 2012. Lied again. In 2015 it was reported nearly 1000 people were still sleeping rough on the streets of London. And during his tenure, homelessness rose by 130%. Mark of a true Tory 2: In 2014 Boris stated live on TV that he was willing to be blasted with a police water cannon to show it was safe. He lied. The demonstration never happened, the machines were… Read more »
This is all rubbish and I know that because Harri said “it sounded like a joke but he was very serious”. Johnson has never been “serious” about anything in his life. His promises are guaranteed to be broken 100% of the time. When Johnson takes decisions, rare enough, they inevitably go wrong. The water cannon were one, the ski lift another but Bendy-buses were top flight idiocy. The buses were supplied to TfL through Arriva and were on long term hire. The day after he tore up the contract TfL and Arriva were legally forced to return the buses immediately… Read more »
How is he going to pay for it?
Building the bridge is technically feasible. But how many days is the Brittania Bridge closed to high sided vehicles? How often are lorries stopped from using the Severn bridges? Our wonderful Royal Navy submarines that exercise in this area have sunk trawlers, hit the Isle of Arran, only missed a fully loaded ferry because the ship’s crew spotted the periscope. It won’t be long before they or one of the other hundreds of ships that use this bit of sea hit the bridge. Is he going to add part of the cost to Wales’ share of the national debt like… Read more »
I wouldn’t send the fool to do my supermarket shop with a written list.