Scottish and Northern Irish ministers rejects Boris Johnson’s bridge proposals
- Credit: PA
Ministers on both sides of the Irish sea have rejected Boris Johnson's proposals for a bridge over the Irish Sea - branding it a waste of money.
Work is under way to establish the feasibility of a road crossing between Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway and Larne in Co Antrim.
But the devolved administrations said the estimated £20 billion cost should fund vital projects in both countries instead and expressed anger that they had not been consulted.
Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson said: "I strongly believe that if £20 billion is available for investment in infrastructure in Scotland and Northern Ireland that, rather than indulging the prime minister with this vanity project, such funding should be made available to our respective governments so it could be better spent on meeting the priorities of the people we represent."
Stormont infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon said: "I am extremely concerned that pursuit of this project, costing £20 billion, will be a waste of significant money and resource that could be put to better use by addressing pressures and deliverable projects here in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
You may also want to watch:
"By spending just a fraction of the reported cost of this bridge, I am of the view that we could bring significantly more benefits to people across the north by investing in infrastructure here and making a real difference to improving the lives of citizens across Northern Ireland."
The distance from Larne to Portpatrick, one of the most likely routes for a bridge, is around 28 miles (45km).
- 1 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 2 House of Lords defies No 10 and votes to heavily defeat Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 3 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
- 4 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 5 Leaked memo exposes government fears over rise in support for Scottish independence
- 6 ERG MP says Boris Johnson should consider cutting ties with Church of England following Brexit row
- 7 Diane Abbott accuses Keir Starmer of having 'other motives' while shadow Brexit secretary
- 8 UK Business leaders describe Brexit call with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove as 'pointless'
- 9 Fool's gold? Nigel Farage wants you to invest your trust in his financial advice service
- 10 PMQs Review: The one where it was grim up north
Johnson has repeatedly spoken about the prospect of a bridge, even though experts have warned that the depth of the Irish Sea and the presence of dumped munitions would cause problems for any project.
There is no problem with distance, money or the Beaufort's Dyke explosives disposal area, according to the prime minister.
An engineer has suggested the span could be ready within 15 years.
In a letter to UK transport secretary Grant Shapps, Matheson called for urgent talks with the UK government.
He wrote: "Given transport is devolved to both the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, I look forward to hearing from you on the availability of the £20 billion to us, and to assurances that in future any such proposals will be discussed with us first and will fully respect the devolved settlements and the role of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.