Northern Ireland news

NI to Scotland tunnel project 'dead' as British government cuts spending

A planned tunnel between Northern Ireland and Scotland is no longer on the table, it has been reported
Paul Ainsworth

PLANS to build a construct a tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland are "dead", it has been claimed ahead of the upcoming UK Autumn Budget.

A move towards cutting spending by the British Treasury has led to a number of projects being scrapped before a planned Budget at the end of October by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The Financial Times last night reported that the proposed tunnel link between the north and Scotland, that was expected to have cost up to £15 billion, was no longer on the table.

The paper said British government officials had confirmed the tunnel plan was being scrapped, while the New Enterprise Allowance, which has helped unemployed people start their own businesses since 2011, was also to become a victim of the spending limits.

In March of this year, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said a tunnel between Scotland and Ireland was a more likely option than a previously discussed bridge.

The plan to create a bridge had been derided as a "fantasy" by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, but in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Foyle MP he was "amazed frankly at his negativity" over the proposal.

Now, the Financial Times has reported a government official claiming of the connectivity project: "It's dead - at least for now." However, a UK government spokesperson told the paper that "boosting connectivity across the UK and improving transport infrastructure" remained a priority.

Back in July, former Downing Street aide-turned government critic, Dominic Cummings, said Boris Johnson's "only agenda" was to "buy more trains, buy more buses, have more bikes and build the world's most stupid tunnel to Ireland."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news