The elusive Boris Bridge, then just a Burris tube between Northern Ireland and the British mainland

The elusive Boris Bridge, then just a Burris tube between Northern Ireland and the British mainland
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a huge fan of bridges. Unfortunately, he will now have to give the green light to a tunnel between Northern Ireland and the British mainland.Getty Image

The British Prime Minister had been looking for a way to keep Northern Ireland effectively with the rest of the United Kingdom for the long haul. His first idea was the bridge. This is not surprising, as Johnson is known to be an enthusiast for bridges – especially bridges that will never be built, such as the Garden Bridge over the Thames and the bridge he dreamed of over the canal.

Soon the bridge over the Irish Sea proved impossible. The sea is very deep and there are war debris at the bottom. Moreover, such a bridge often has to be closed due to turbulent weather. The tunnel, on the other hand, is technically possible. The harbor is located between the Scottish port city of Stranriere and Larnne, North Belfast, about 35 kilometers, roughly the length of the tunnel between Dover and Calais.

In contrast to the “natural” tunnel beneath the canal, the tunnel below the Irish Sea should become a kind of floating tunnel, about fifty meters below sea level. The tube is held in place by floats and anchors. Such a building, designed by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, does not yet exist. At around 12 billion euros, the Burris tube is cheaper than a regular bridge or tunnel.

The tunnel should improve traffic flow, especially cargo traffic. Since Brexit, there have been problems at the border. Moreover, it is a helping hand to the pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland who feel they are abandoned by London. Therefore, the DUP is a strong supporter of the project, which can be approved within weeks.

Northern Ireland’s status is still a matter of debate a month and a half after the real start of Brexit. To mitigate border problems, the British, with the support of the Irish business community and Northern Ireland, want a period of tolerance, but Brussels doesn’t want to hear about it at the moment. A “grace period” of one or two years should enable companies to better adapt to the new boundary policy.

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Tensions are running high in Northern Ireland: British and European customs officers are canceling work at ports
Boris Johnson called on the European Union to find a solution to the problems in Northern Ireland. Within the pro-British community, there is growing aversion to the European Union’s external borders, which border the Irish Sea since the start of this year. Due to threats from union circles, British and European customs officers are present at the ports of Belfast and Larn So put the work aside.

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