Spending review

Boris’s Scotland link to Northern Ireland axed

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson wanted to boost the union

Boris Johnson’s plan to build a tunnel or bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland has been scuppered by the Treasury.

The £15bn project has been described as “dead” by government officials briefed on spending negotiations ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Budget next month.

The chancellor gave cabinet colleagues until Monday evening to finalise their bids for public spending and has warned them he wants to “put the public finances on a sustainable path in the medium term”.

Mr Sunak’s spending review will determine the public sector landscape until the next election, with schools, courts, local councils and transport all clamouring for more cash after the Covid crisis.

The spending review has seen the Prime Minister’s plan to build the 21-mile bridge or tunnel from Scotland to Northern Ireland put – at best – on the backburner. One government official said: “It’s dead – at least for now”.

Mr Johnson saw the tunnel as a means to boost connect up parts of the UK and strengthen the union.

He was particularly keen to link Northern Ireland to Great Britain after the upheavals sparked by his Brexit policy.

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