Boris Johnson's government considering Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge

Earlier this week Boris Johnson visited Ireland to try to cement a Brexit deal. Picture: Charles McQuillan / Getty Images
Earlier this week Boris Johnson visited Ireland to try to cement a Brexit deal. Picture: Charles McQuillan / Getty Images
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The Department for Transport have reportedly been asked for the possible cost of building a bridge link from Scotland to Northern Ireland.

Channel 4 News is reporting they have seen documents revealing that both the Treasury and Department for Transport have been asked for advice on the costs and risks of the project.

The two proposed bridge routes. Picture: Professor Alan Dunlop

The two proposed bridge routes. Picture: Professor Alan Dunlop

READ MORE: New images of bridge to link Scotland with Northern Ireland released

It is understood Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to know 'where this money could come from' and 'the risks around the project' which may include unexploded World War 2 munitions in the Irish Sea.

The idea was first pitched by Mr Johnson last year in his role as Foreign Secretary.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson says he is an 'enthusiast' for idea of bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland

At the time, the Department for Transport drafted a dossier on how the scheme could work after conversations between the DUP and former Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling.

The DUP believes a physical link between Northern Ireland and Scotland could crack the Brexit deadlock and eliminate the need for a so-called 'border in the Irish Sea' arrangement.

READ MORE: DUP MP backs plan to for bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland

Speaking to Channel 4 News, a government spokesperson said: “Government regularly commissions work to examine the feasibility of projects. During the leadership campaign candidates spoke about a number of issues which resulted in Number 10 commissions ahead of a new Prime Minister taking over.

"This PM has made no secret of his support for infrastructure projects that increase connectivity for people and particularly those that strengthen the Union.”

During the Conservative Party leadership contest this summer, Boris Johnson was repeatedly asked about his support for the bridge scheme.

He responded that he was 'enthusiast for the idea'.

Mr Johnson added: "I think it's a good idea but again that is the kind of project that should be pursued by a dynamic Northern Ireland government championed by local people with local consent and interest."

The now Prime Minister suggested that the biggest barrier to large infrastrcute projects was not cost but 'political will'.

Last year architect Professor Alan Dunlop shared drawings of the proposed bridge after his idea won widespread political support on both sides of the Irish Sea.

The architect called for the Scottish Government to work with leaders in ireland and Westminister to conduct a full feasibility study. He proposed two options for the bridge would would connect either Larne and Portpatrick or Mull of Kintyre with Torr Head.

Speaking at a conference in Aberdeen last September, Professor Dunlop estimated the bridge would cost between £15b and £20b.

The Norwegian Coastal Highway, a 680 mile route which will cross 20 fjords etween Kirstians and Trondheim using bridges and tunnels, has been floated as evidence the scheme could happen.

There is also the Øresund Bridge that connects Denmark with Sweden. It has made a £10bn return on the initial investment since its opening 18 years ago.

The bridge has created a swell of economic activity. Around 17,600 people, including 2,500 students, commute across the bridge everyday.