A senior Tory MP has ridiculed Boris Johnson’s plans for a 25-mile undersea tunnel connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland – calling for ministers to focus on the issues surrounding the Brexit deal instead.
The tunnel – dubbed the ‘Boris Burrow’ – could cost £10 billion to create and was seen as a compromise to a bridge between the two countries.
The proposals, which could be approved within weeks, would be similar to the Channel tunnel and would run between Stranraer in Scotland and Larne in Northern Ireland.
But the Tory MP in charge of the Northern Ireland select committee has criticised the plans, joking that it could be pulled by an “inexhaustible herd of unicorns”.
Simon Hoare tweeted: “The trains could be pulled by an inexhaustible herd of Unicorns overseen by stern, officious dodos.
“A PushmePullYou could be the senior guard and Puff the Magic Dragon the inspector.
“Let’s concentrate on making the protocol work and put the hallucinogenics down”.
He added: “Also another ”minor hurdle” is the NI railway gauge is an ”all Ireland” gauge which is different to that used in GB. I’m not Brunel but I think this might be a bit of a problem.”
In 2018 an engineer pulled apart Johnson’s proposals for a bridge, pointing out the Second World War munition dumps at Beautfort’s Dyke under the area the prime minister proposes building the infrastructure.
The stretch of sea is also used by nuclear submarines from the Royal Navy base at Faslane.
But there was support from the DUP, with Sammy Wilson claiming: “This kind of project would at least give people in Northern Ireland the belief that the government was prepared to put in infrastructure and spend money to make sure that we are physically connected.”
Downing Street said a review, led by Network Rail chair Sir Peter Hendy, will explore the “cost, practicality and demand” for a fixed link.