Boris Johnson leaves people baffled with ‘ridiculous’ plans to build a giant underwater roundabout
Chris Furlong/Getty Images

Boris Johnson’s “batsh*t” scheme to build a ‘roundabout’ beneath the Isle of Man has sparked bafflement and ridicule.

The prime ministerreportedly backed a proposal to link Northern Ireland to Scotland and England via a series of tunnels meeting at ‘Douglas Junction’ beneath the British island.

The proposal, summarised in The Times, would allow movement from multiple points in Scotland and the north-west of England to Belfast under the Irish Sea.

According to the newspaper, Johnson’s aides doubt the plan’s practicality. One senior advisor reportedly said that Number 10’s policy unit is “condemned to looking at the idea, which exists primarily in the mind of the PM”, while another described it as “batsh*t”.

The proposals come as Downing Street considers creating a tunnel between Stranraer in Scotland and Larne in Northern Ireland, nicknamed the ‘Boris Burrow’. While Johnson is reportedly keen on the idea – even meeting with Network chairman Peter Hendy to discuss its practicality – there are a number of issues.

The 25-mile tunnel would cost around £10bn to create and would have to cross Beaufort’s Dyke, where 1.5m tonnes of munitions were buried after the Second World War. Johnson also doesn’t have the best record on seeing similar projects through to completion: as Mayor of London he abandoned work on the Garden Bridge Project and on ‘Boris Island’, an airport on the Thames estuary.

Joining the tunnels beneath the Isle of Man instead of having them cross Beaufort’s Dyke might circumvent the issue of having to dig up buried bombs – but it’s still been criticised as “ridiculous”.

Johnson first proposed a bridge between Scotland Northern Ireland in 2018 while running for party leader. His plan was welcomed by the DUP.

The bridge later became a tunnel as Johnson consulted experts on the possibility of the pathway. Although the likelihood of its completion and success is debatable, Johnson’s continued interest in the plan suggests that it could progress – with or without an underwater roundabout.

More: Why now is a critical time in the fight to end overfishing

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)