Belfast Telegraph

Scottish government ready to 'explore all options' over link with Northern Ireland

The Scottish government has said in a statement it is ready to "explore all options" in relation to a physical link with Northern Ireland.

In a statement released to the BBC's The View, a spokesman for the Scottish government said: "Whilst we acknowledge that there may well be significant challenges to the delivery of any fixed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland, we will initiate discussions between our respective officials to explore connectivity between our two islands.       

"Given the scale of any such fixed link, it is important that all operations are fully considered and officials stand ready to explore all options with their counterparts in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland."

In February, Scottish Brexit Minister and MSP Michael Russell addressed the Oireachtas European Affairs Committee in Dublin, and expressed his support for a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

"I think it's a great idea, it would open up my constituency and that's a good headline to see. There is a lot of talking to be done about that but I think it is important that talking starts," he said.

In January, top architect Professor Alan Dunlop from Liverpool University said an Irish-Scottish bridge, which would be similar to the one connecting Denmark and Sweden across the Oresund Strait, could be completed for a cost of between £15bn to £20bn.

He suggested possible links between Larne and the village of Portpatrick in south west Scotland, or between Torr Head on the Antrim Coast and the Mull of Kintyre.

Writing for the Belfast Telegraph, the DUP's Simon Hamilton - Minister for the Economy prior to the collapse of Stormont - said: "Imagine being able to board a train in Belfast or Dublin and be in Glasgow or Edinburgh in just a few hours? It would revolutionise our trade and tourism never mind our sense of interconnectedness. It maybe isn't as unrealistic an idea as you'd first think.

"Why shouldn't we at least explore the possibility of connecting our two islands together to reap the economic benefits that would undoubtedly flow?"

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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