‘Boris burrow’ tunnel linking Scotland and Northern Ireland could get green light
An undersea tunnel from Scotland to Northern Ireland could get the go-ahead as early as next month.
The tunnel, which has been dubbed ‘Boris Burrow’, would run from Stranraer to Larne in Northern Ireland.
It would be modelled on the Channel tunnel, which is 31.5 miles long and runs underwater for 23.5 miles.
By creating the first ever fixed link between all four nations of the United Kingdom, it is hoped the tunnel might help unblock trade hit by Brexit tensions.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is considering an alternate "mutual enforcement" plan which would restore the border to the island of Ireland, and require the UK and EU to apply checks at the same level as each other.
Peter Wendy, the chairman of Network Rail, has been tasked with conducting feasibility studies.
Sir Peter is expected to publish his interim reports within the next few weeks.
The undersea tunnel is believed to have the private backing of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who first proposed a fixed link across the Irish Sea in 2018, and Scottish secretary Alister Jack.
In an interview with Chopper's Politics podcast, Mr Jack said he was in favour of a tunnel because "a bridge would be closed for probably 100 days a year with the weather in the Irish Sea".
He said: "My strong inclination would be that he thinks it should be a tunnel because he and I have had conversations about the weather patterns in the Irish Sea and Beaufort's Dyke, and there's a munitions deposit there.”
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph on Saturday night, DUP MP Sammy Wilson, whose East Antrim seat would host the Northern Ireland end of the tunnel, said: “This kind of project would at least give people in Northern Ireland the belief that the Government was prepared to put in infrastructure and spend money to make sure that we are physically connected.
“The important thing is to make sure that we are economically and constitutionally connected – that is far more important than a physical connection. But nevertheless symbolically it would be very important to hear this message.”
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