Belfast Telegraph

UK would have to finance any bridge to Scotland: Taoiseach

By Ashley Cowburn

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described the idea of building a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland as "interesting", but insisted the UK would have to pay for it.

Despite it being mocked by engineers, Mr Varadkar revealed he had discussed the concept with a "particularly keen" Boris Johnson and had told him it was worth examining.

Both Mr Johnson and the DUP have previously spoken warmly of the idea, and just last week Mr Johnson told MPs gathered in the House of Commons "watch this space" over the proposal.

In the summer Government officials probed where the money could come from, as well as the risks around such a project, which are thought to include World War Two munitions dumped in the Irish Sea.

But Mr Varadkar said he had also insisted the UK would have to pay for the mammoth project if it were to go ahead. "At which point he [Mr Johnson] suggested, 'No, no, the EU is going to pay for it," he said.

He added: "So that's definitely not going to happen, because neither Northern Ireland nor Scotland are going to be in the EU. But it was kind of half serious, half joking in a way.

"But all messing aside, I do think at the very least a high-level engineering assessment should be done as to whether it is a viable proposal."

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