Northern Ireland news

Boris Johnson says Irish Sea bridge 'would only cost about £15 billion'

British prime minister Boris Johnson, pictured today at the River Thames during an event to mark London International Shipping Week, said a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland would be "very good" 
Harriet Line, Press Association

Boris Johnson has said a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland would be "very good" - estimating the project would cost around £15 billion.

The British prime minister revealed his thoughts on the ambitious proposal as he spoke to schoolchildren playing with a model container ship onboard lighthouse tender NLV Pharos on the Thames.

Mr Johnson told the children that he had recently been discussing the possibility of constructing a bridge over the Irish Sea.

He said: "(I was talking yesterday) about building a bridge from Stranraer in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland - that would be very good.

"It would only cost about £15 billion."

Read More: 'Bridge to Scotland was Simon Coveney's idea', claims Boris Johnson

It follows reports that the prime minister has asked government officials for advice on the costs and risks of such a project.

Some of the proposed routes for a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland

The DUP - who prop up the Tory minority government - support proposals for a bridge which they hope could bring economic benefits to Northern Ireland and Scotland, but it has also been touted as a potential solution to the controversial backstop.

Mr Johnson first mooted the idea while serving as foreign secretary, telling the Sunday Times last year: "What we need to do is build a bridge between our islands. Why don't we? Why don't we?

Read More: Bridge to Scotland 'about as feasible as building a bridge to the moon'

"There is so much more we can do, and what grieves me about the current approach to Brexit is that we are just in danger of not believing in ourselves, not believing in Britain."

Mr Johnson last year reportedly suggested also building a bridge across the English Channel to connect the UK and France.

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