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Tunnel vision: the private sector has the ability to transform British infrastructure

2 4 1
20.09.2021

Last week came an unsurprising denouement: the proposed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland, via a bridge or a tunnel, was being shelved. The Treasury could not countenance the estimated £15 billion cost.

This was a project with Boris Johnson’s name all over it: big, bold, innovative and eye-catching. It would be a solid piece of legacy if it outdid the infamous Garden Bridge in London and actually came to fruition.

Connecting the islands of Britain and Ireland was not simply a flight of Johnsonian fancy, a half-baked thought accidentally mistaken as serious policy. In 2018, the SNP’s jack of all trades, Mike Russell endorsed the idea, and Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, had called for a feasibility study. Northern Ireland local authorities were next, and the then-first minister, Arlene Foster, noted that there........

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