The Boris bridge will not now happen but such a link to Scotland is a good long term goal

News Letter editorial of Tuesday November 23 2021:

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 8:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 8:49 am
News Letter editorial

The so-called ‘Boris Bridge’ between Northern Ireland and Scotland will not go ahead, it is being reported.

If accurate, then the development is little surprise.

The project had been estimated to come with a price tag of £20 billion, and could end up several times that number if its costs spiralled, as is almost the norm in major UK infrastructure projects.

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It would never be easy to justify that expenditure on any single scheme, even if it was an airport in the densely populated southeast of Great Britain.

On a route such as the North Channel with relatively modest traffic levels (compared to the English Channel) it would be all the more so.

And at a time of huge financial pressures post Covid, pressures that will last for years, it is almost inconceivable.

Those who sneered that the ‘Boris Bridge’ was fantasy will be delighted by the apparent confirmation of their scepticism. But the bridge (or tunnel) is by no means fantasy.

As numerous experts have now said, it is a physical connection that, for all the immense engineering challenges and costs, could indeed be built.

Boris Johnson, whatever his faults, is a genuine supporter of major infrastructure.

The link to Scotland should be seen as a long term aim rather than a short term or medium term one.

The UK government is to be applauded for thinking of ways in which the UK can be bound together. The feasibility study into an NI-Scotland structure was the right thing to do.

Irish and Scottish separatists have increasingly been able to use London money to embed their local power base while trying to turn public feeling against supposedly frugal or uncaring national governments.

It is about time the UK started deploying its own resources to defend its very existence against grievance mongers.

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