SNP demands money

Blackford demands share of £20bn Boris bridge fund

Ian Blackford

Ian Blackford: ‘give us the money’ (pic: Terry Murden)

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has demanded that Scotland gets its share of £20bn that was earmarked by Boris Johnson’s for his planned bridge across the Irish Sea.

The UK government is expected to formally announce this week that the plan is being ditched when it publishes its union connectivity review.

Sir Peter Hendy, who was asked by the government to examine connections between the different parts of the UK, is said to have concluded the project was not currently viable.

A government source told the Telegraph that Sir Peter had examined the costs of a fixed link to Northern Ireland and found “it would be technically very challenging at the moment.”

A source added: “That’s not to say it won’t become viable at some point in the future, but at the moment it would be very, very difficult and expensive.”

Mr Blackford says the fund allocated to build the bridge connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland should now be shared by the governments at Stormont and Holyrood.

He said: “Let’s be honest, Boris Johnson’s plans for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland were daft – but the funding that was suggested for it can and should be made available.

“It could then be spent on transport and connectivity projects that are worthwhile and deliverable – and compatible with our climate obligations.”

“The Tories’ HS2 snub to Northern England last week shows how their promises can’t be trusted. But a fair share of the money earmarked for the bridge project could allow proper investment in projects like high speed rail for Scotland.

“And the money should be allocated to Holyrood and Stormont to spend as they choose, respecting devolution – not spent over the heads of the devolved governments.

“We are seeing again what happens when the Tories make vague promises of investment in Scotland. All that Scotland gets in return is cuts, broken promises and the Tories handing contracts to their cronies.”

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