Digging for victory

or The Great Escape

The idea of a tunnel linking GB with NI has reared its head again, this is a subject that just gives and gives. In particular the lobbying by the construction industry is a joy, all about how the cost of digging tunnels has fallen massively, got far faster and easier. After all the industry is impartial and can be trusted, just like when they salivated over moving Heathrow to a marsh in the middle of the Thames estuary or a new bridge over the Thames.

But the real delusions don’t stop there, the Channel Tunnel cost its private investors pretty much everything they put into it and it links an island of 63 million to a continent of several hundred million. Construction ran massively over budget and ferries didn’t disappear but increased their competition, which hit projected income. A similar length tunnel linking 1.5 million people in NI to a remote part of Scotland is economically farcical. But it gets better.

Apparently the major benefit will be to by-pass all those annoying EU checks on the border in the Irish sea. Amazing that travelling by tunnel negates the NIP, who knew it only applied to boats and planes? So the UK will spend tens of billions building one of the longest, most expensive tunnels in history to avoid red tape it agreed to? In fact a deal it boasted about only weeks ago.

Will lorries emerge secretly behind the back of the EU customs officials and head into Belfast, with fake papers from a blind master forger? Perhaps specially trained motorcycle couriers will deliver Amazon parcels by leaping barbed wire entanglements? Will American importers, with terrible fake Aussie accents make contact with the resistance and walk across the Mourne mountains to freedom? What fun!

And the name of this project is now “Boris’s burrowing”, the successor to Boris bikes, Boris island and the Boris bridge. Is there something about the Prime Minister’s ego we should know about? Because it is a very expensive beast to feed?