A bridge from Northern Ireland to Scotland? Boris Johnson’s crazy project

A colossal €23 billion project to facilitate trade following Brexit

The "Boris Bridge" will link Northern Ireland to Scotland
Date 12 February 2020

The project seems as demented as it is unrealistic. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just presented a new whim: a bridge linking Northern Ireland to Scotland. A 20km long bridge, the construction of which would be estimated at 20 billion pounds sterling (more than 23 billion euros)!

A response to Brexit which would aim to preserve Northern Ireland from potential isolation from the rest of the United Kingdom.

A real engineering challenge

Specifically, the bridge would link Portpatrick in south-west Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland, north of Belfast. It would extend over a distance of 20 km and would take the form of a double-level bridge (with road and rail for rail transport). According to Boris Jonhnson, it would be an effective means of facilitating trade with Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

But the bridge would pose major problems: an artificial island would simply have to be built on the Scottish side to accommodate the bridge. In addition, the numerous munitions and other weapons thrown into the sea at the end of the Second World War could greatly complicate the work, raising difficult safety issues.

Immediately, the project put a smile on Boris Johnson’s face and outraged his opponents, accusing him of literally squandering public money on a whimsical project.

But a government source said the executive branch was serious about the project. Johnson even said he was inspired by similar bridges that have been built in Nordic countries, such as Sweden, which, among other things, has created a road link between Copenhagen and Malmö.

A strategic project to keep a grip on Northern Ireland

The project of this titanic bridge has the advantage of making people talk about it. Already nicknamed “the Boris Bridge”, it is a perfect opportunity for Boris Johnson to send a strong signal. Thus, the Prime Minister intends to reassure Northern Ireland that London is not abandoning them following the Brexit.

But also that London is ruling out any potential reunification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at a time when Sinn Féin, a left-wing nationalist party, has just made a real breakthrough in the Irish legislature.

A strong message, which should not please everyone. Johnson seems very clear: Northern Ireland does belong to the United Kingdom, and will not make any concessions to the British Province.

To discover at this time in Ireland:

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