In the midst of the Brexit dispute, Boris Johnson is reviving his plan for a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland. It is not the first time that he wants to score points with pompous infrastructure projects. Possible mega project Johnson has bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland tested…
Possible mega project Johnson has bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland tested
The British government wants to boost the economy with extensive road and bridge construction projects. Links between the different parts of the UK will also be strengthened. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday.
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In a study commissioned by his government, the feasibility of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland with a length of at least 32 kilometers is to be examined. In addition, it should be about the possible expansion of air, road and rail connections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The results of the study should be available in the middle of next year.
Johnson has long shown sympathy for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Experts consider it problematic that Ireland would remain in the European Union after the planned Brexit, while Northern Ireland would not. In their opinion, the result could be political unrest. A bridge could bind the two countries of the United Kingdom closer together.
The idea of a bridge from the British mainland to the Northern Irish part of the country has been around for years. Critics consider the project too expensive in view of the deep water and the wind prevailing in the strait. Estimates circulated in February that such a bridge would cost 17 to 23 billion euros.
Johnson is known for his predilection for large infrastructure projects. As Mayor of London, he wanted to build a new bridge over the Thames. The project ultimately failed due to the high costs of around 63 million euros. At the beginning of 2018 he then advertised a new bridge over the English Channel. Some experts also referred to this as “clowning”.
In the Brexit dispute, the European Union and Great Britain want to continue trying to reach an agreement on future relations. That was confirmed by the EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and Johnson after a conversation on Saturday.
The ninth round of negotiations ended on Friday without any significant progress. Time is now extremely short: Johnson had set a deadline of October 15. The EU says an agreement must be ready by October 31st so that it can still be ratified.
The main points of contention in the negotiations are the EU’s demand for equal social, environmental and subsidy standards, as well as the UK’s intention to restrict the access of EU fishermen to its waters.
Regardless of this, a dispute has flared up over compliance with the EU exit agreement, which Johnson wants to partially overturn by law. The EU sees this as a serious breach of trust and law – and has announced legal action.
Great Britain left the EU on January 31st. After the end of the transition period, the country will also leave the internal market and the customs union at the end of the year. If a contract fails, there is a risk of tariffs and high trade barriers.