British Government discussing plans for tunnel linking Ireland and Wales

British Government discussing plans for tunnel linking Ireland and Wales

THE BRITISH Government are discussing plans to build a tunnel linking Ireland and Wales.

UK Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, raised the idea of a tunnel linking the two countries which would run underneath the Irish Sea.

According to The Daily Express, the tunnel-- which would likely be between Dublin and Holyhead-- could cost up to £15 billion and would be twice as long as the Channel crossing between England and France.

Mr Grant was questioned in an interview with The Financial Times as to why a tunnel between Ireland and Wales should be built, to which Mr Grant replied: "Why not?"

The Sunday Times suggests that a feasibility study could begin within weeks, with a formal proposal submitted to the chairman of Network Rail.

In his Financial Times interview, Mr Shapps was questioned about Boris Johnson's highly-publicised plans for a tunnel linking Northern Ireland and Scotland, to which he suggested that perhaps a tunnel to Wales would be better.

"I don't know whether it should be [to Scotland] or to Wales," he told the paper; this would allow easier transportation for Northern Ireland's UK and European markets.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ambitious plans for a tunnel linking Ireland with Britain

The first suggestion of a link between the island of Ireland and Britain came from Mr Johnson in the form of a bridge, before it was changed to a potential tunnel underneath the Irish Sea.

Since then, the plan has evolved even further, with The Sunday Times reporting in February, citing Whitehall sources, that the UK Prime Minister hoped to iron out any post-Brexit trade issues with the construction of a network of three tunnels linking Northern Ireland with England and Scotland. 

The three tunnels would connect at the roundabout, which has been nicknamed ‘Douglas Junction’ after the Isle of Man, and would stretch out across the Irish Sea. 

According to the report, senior Whitehall figures previously dismissed the idea as “round the bend” however, Johnson is said to be so keen on the idea that it “cannot die”. 

Dubbed “Boris’ Burrow” the tunnel could potentially run from Stranraer in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland. 

The tunnel is one of several options being discussed as part of an effort to relieve the pressures placed on the Irish border in the wake of Brexit.