Boris Johnson apparently wants to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland

It turns out that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spiel about building a bridge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK during his bid for the Conservative party leadership wasn’t all talk. Documents leaked to the news desk of British television channel Channel 4 reveal that the Department of Transport and the Treasury have both been consulted on risks and costs for such a project, with the Prime Minister wanting to know where the money for it would come from.

There are a lot of risks to building such a bridge, including the fact that a significant amount of munitions left from the second world war and nuclear waste were dumped in Beauforts Dyke, an area of the sea bed deep enough it would require some of the tallest bridge towers ever built. Not to mention that the potential locations for the Scottish side of the bridge are out in the middle of nowhere, rendering it a very inconvenient means of travel between the two countries. Nonetheless, the DUP, the dominant party in Northern Ireland who formed a coalition government with the Conservative party in Westminster, have expressed approval for the idea, suggesting it might be a partial solution to the border problem caused by Brexit.

This isn’t Johnson’s first flirtation with impractical bridges. In 2018, he suggested building a bridge between England and France, and his Garden Bridge in London was abandoned before work started after going several million over budget. Commenters on Twitter were quick to remember Boris’ track record with bridges.

https://twitter.com/AmandaGtto/status/1171520355309015050

While others see this reveal as yet another distraction technique, referencing the time Boris claimed he enjoyed painting model buses in an interview, conveniently replacing the previous top search results for the term “Boris bus” (the disastrous new route masters he introduced to London transit) with that.

Some discussed the engineering, safety and financial problems with the idea.

All in all, no one seems impressed, with Twitter user @curates_egg saying we should call this bridge the Tyrant’s Causeway—referencing a mythical bridge between Scotland and Ireland built by tyrannical giants, attributed to volcanic features found on both coasts.

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Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org