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Great Britain-Northern Ireland Tunnel

Volume 690: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2021

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the feasibility and viability of a tunnel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. (912615)

The Secretary of State and I have regular conversations with ministerial colleagues regarding transport connections, which are particularly important for Northern Ireland given its unique position. Connectivity across the UK is vital to fuel Northern Ireland’s economic recovery and strengthen the Union. The Prime Minister commissioned a Union connectivity review to consider these important connections, including the feasibility of a fixed link between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

In those discussions, could the Minister not get together with the Department for Transport and point out the huge cost, the geological problems and the inconvenient reality that Britain and Ireland operate on a different rail gauge? Is it not time to dump this project at an early stage, along with the garden bridge, into the bin and save a lot of money, effort and probably a few column inches in articles?

I have to say that I am not impressed with the right hon. Gentleman’s lack of ambition. I want to make sure that we look at all options to support connectivity to Northern Ireland, and I am grateful that we have a Prime Minister who is willing to do that.