Jeremy Corbyn has ridiculed Boris Johnson's plans for a bridge from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, suggesting he might want to build a giant zip wire across the Irish Sea instead — and be the first to try it out.
Now that Whitehall officials are examining the potential for a bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland — an idea championed by the Prime Minister — MPs took the opportunity to joke about the idea while discussing the HS2 rail link in the Commons on Monday.
Labour leader Mr Corbyn said the PM is fond of announcing “big shiny projects”, such as exploring the possibility of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, joking: “Why not go the whole hog and make it a garden bridge connected to an airport on the sea? It stands as much chance of actually being built as any of those failed projects by the former mayor of London put forward.
“Or why not a cable car between Scotland and Northern Ireland? Or better still a giant zip wire — the Prime Minister could be the first to try it out.
“The saddest thing about today’s announcement is the high likelihood that so much of it won’t be delivered.”
Mr Johnson said Mr Corbyn had made a “manful attempt to conceal his fundamental agreement” with the Government’s plans, adding on HS2 fares: “The whole point of putting another 200,000 seats in capacity is you thereby drive down prices for the consumer - it’s about competition.”
Others in the Commons, however, took a more serious tone on the topic.
The DUP's East Antrim representative Sammy Wilson asked: “What progress has been made on the promised feasibility study of a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland as promised by the Prime Minister?”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak replied: “The Prime Minister is passionate about improving connectivity across the United Kingdom. My honourable friend will know this is one particular project he has expressed interest in and he can assume we are busy at work fleshing out what it might look like.”
This is not the first time a giant zip wires have been suggested in relation to Northern Ireland.
Back in 2013, the then-Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland proposed installing a permanent zip wire across the River Lagan in Belfast in a bid to provide better pedestrian links along the east bank of the waterway and the city centre.
Plans for a physical link between Northern Ireland and Scotland came a step closer yesterday after it was revealed that the Prime Minister is to receive the result of a feasibility study into what many are calling the 'Boris Bridge'.