'Northern Ireland-only backstop doesn't work for the UK,' says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Officials studying Boris Johnson's plan for Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge

However, the plans do not include tariffs and this may mean a border needs to be created in the Irish Sea for goods passing from Northern Ireland to mainland Britain.

Mr Johnson first mooted the thought whereas serving as global secretary, telling the Sunday Occasions final yr: 'What we have to do is construct a bridge between our islands.

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Details leaked to Channel 4 News revealed the outline of plans for two options to create a bridge across the stretch of Irish Sea between west Scotland and Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The trio of challenges contended that a no-deal Brexit on October 31 would undermine agreements involving the United Kingdom and Irish governments that were struck during the peace process and which underpin cross-border co-operation between the two nations.

His proposal was, at the time, branded by one expert as a "thoughtless soundbite" which "no sane contractor or responsible government" would sanction.

"In total the bridge would require 54 towers, of heights never achieved anywhere in the world".

And now Boris could effectively ditch the DUP's 10 votes in the hope of winning 40 or 50 more by bringing back the rebel Tory MPs, and convincing some in the Labour Party to vote on his side in a bid to avoid no deal.

Now, the Prime Minister has floated the idea of an "All-Ireland" zone, a pact which would effectively remove the need for the Irish backstop entirely - which has been a key sticking point throughout Brexit negotiations.

A government spokesperson said: "Government regularly commissions work to examine the feasibility of projects".

"This PM has made no secret of his support for infrastructure projects that increase connectivity for people and particularly those that strengthen the Union". And ever since then, various prime ministers and members of Parliament have been struggling with how best to do that amid rancorous disagreements among the political parties.

But that wasn't Mr Johnson's first ambitious bridge project - as London mayor in 2014 he approved a scheme to build the now infamous Garden Bridge.

The project was beset by expensive problems, and was eventually scrapped by his successor Sadiq Khan, but not before it had cost the taxpayer £43 million.

The Operation Yellowhammer document reports that disruption at English Channel crossings could last up to three months before it eases, with up to 85% of heavy goods vehicles unprepared for new French customs checks that will be introduced on day one after a no-deal Brexit.

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