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No feasibility study or money spent on Boris Johnson's Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge

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An impression of what the bridge could look like.

An impression of what the bridge could look like.

An impression of what the bridge could look like.

No study has been carried out to test the feasibility of Boris Johnson's proposed bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The UK Government confirmed that no money has been spent on the idea which has been proposed several times this year by the Prime Minister, the Scottish Sun reports.

This is despite Mr Johnson ordering Whitehall officials to look at the project to find out whether it would work.

But a Cabinet Office spokesperson said that "no external work has been commissioned by departments on a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland".

The statement, in response to a Freedom of Information request from the BBC, read: "A range of officials across different departments and within the Cabinet Office are looking into general options to improve connectivity between the nations of the UK.

"This work is at a very early stage in the policymaking process and there are no completed studies on the feasibility of a road and/or rail bridge between Northern Ireland and the GB mainland.

"No money has been spent on specific proposals of a bridge between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, beyond the salaries of policy officials.”

The project would see the building of a 20-mile link between Larne and Stranraer.

The idea has been backed by the DUP, with MP Sammy Wilson saying that Mr Johnson could "win back the trust" of unionists by building a link between Northern Ireland and the mainland United Kingdom.

Relations between the DUP and Mr Johnson have become strained over his Brexit deal which would effectively put a border down the Irish sea.

Mr Johnson is understood to have wanted to find out how the project, which would cost around £15 billion, could be funded.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking last October, said Mr Johnson was "genuinely interested" in building the bridge.

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

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.

However, Scotland's Transport Secretary Michael Matheson called it "a vanity project".

Belfast Telegraph