Belfast Telegraph

Leo Varadkar says Boris Johnson's Northern Ireland to Scotland bridge plan should not be 'dismissed out of hand'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's was proposed to build a bridge from Northern Ireland to Scotland. Graphic: Raymond Estaban
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's was proposed to build a bridge from Northern Ireland to Scotland. Graphic: Raymond Estaban

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said Boris Johnson's controversial plan to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland should not be "dismissed out of hand".

The Prime Minister said in September that building a 20-mile link between Larne and Stranraer at a cost of £15 billion would be "very good".

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Mr Varadkar said: "Prime Minister Johnson is genuinely interested in taking a serious look at this idea of building a bridge between Antrim and Scotland."

“I know people dismiss it, but I don’t. It needs to be looked at. It needs to be at least examined.

“I’ve seen what the Chinese have got… 100km-long bridges. I don’t know if it is viable but I also don’t think it should be dismissed out of hand and I know he is particularly excited about that one.”

Mr Johnson is understood to have wanted to find out how the project, which has previously been backed by DUP MP Paul Girvan, could be funded. Critics have hit out at the cost of the bridge and spoken of the risks of World War Two munitions still in the Irish Sea.

The Taoiseach's intervention came after he suggested Ireland and the UK could provide a joint post-Brexit funding package for Northern Ireland to boost infrastructure.

He also told the Sunday Times he would work with the UK to boost Northern Ireland's underdeveloped private sector.

“One of the sad things about partition and the Troubles is that the part of Ireland that used to be an industrial powerhouse . . . as old industries declined they weren’t really replaced by new industries," he said.

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