Boris Johnson’s renewed call for bridge over Irish Sea branded ‘an utter pipe dream’

File photo dated 07/12/17 of Boris Johnson. Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
File photo dated 07/12/17 of Boris Johnson. Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Boris Johnson’s renewed call for the construction of a road bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland has been branded “an utter pipe dream” that’s being used to “distract people from the horrors of Brexit”.

The Tory MP and leading Brexiteer said building a bridge over the Irish Sea would be a sign ministers still “believe in Britain” after the UK leaves the EU next year.

“What we need to do is build a bridge between our islands,” Mr Johnson told the Sunday Times. “Why don’t we? Why don’t we?”

Earlier this year Mr Johnson made headlines after publicly backing plans for the construction of a 25-mile bridge between Portpatrick in south-west Scotland and Larne in Co Antrim.

Despite receiving support from East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson, Mr Johnson’s calls for the construction of a bridge have been ridiculed by political opponents, and even some of his own Conservative Party colleagues.

Branding Mr Johnson’s talk of a bridge “a pipe dream”, East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson said: “I am very content to build metaphorical bridges, but there is not a snowball’s chance of building a road bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.”

Pointing to the huge cost of such a project – estimated to be in the region of £15bn – and the engineering challenges it would entail, the Alliance representative added: “I guess it’s probably not impossible, but it would probably be closed more than it was open, because of the weather conditions.

“It is a simple and utter pipe dream. It is a windbag tilting at windmills to distract people from the horrors of Brexit.”