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Boris Johnson proposes 22-mile bridge to connect United Kingdom and France

20 January 2018

The idea of a fixed link between Britain and France was apparently raised by Johnson with French president Emmanuel Macron at a summit in Sandhurst, Berkshire, yesterday.

It is understood that the French president responded positively to the idea saying: "I agree". Britain and France are now linked by the 32 mile- long (50.5 km) Channel Tunnel, which carries high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, the Eurotunnel Shuttle for road vehicles and worldwide goods trains. CEO Guy Platten told The Guardian the Dover Strait - at the English Channel's narrowest part - "is the world's busiest shipping lane" and that the largest ships going through the strait can be around 70 meters, or almost 230 feet, tall. But the suggestion has been met with sceptical responses elsewhere.

Reuters reported France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 radio, "All ideas merit consideration, even the most far-fetched ones ..."

Johnson did not mention the idea of a bridge explicitly in public and it was unclear if any detailed discussions had taken place.

However, in his tweet, Mr Johnson had referred specifically to the Channel crossing, saying: "Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections".

Prime Minister Theresa May's office said there were no specific plans for a cross-Channel bridge.

Mayor Boris Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger take a ride on the Emirates cable car from Greenwich to the ExCeL in Docklands after watching the Olympic basketball in Greenwich
Boris Johnson calls for a bridge across the English Channel. No, really

Others pointed out that, technically, it's possible.

Johnson has a penchant for large infrastructure projects.

Johnson also championed building a new airport in the Thames estuary, a project dubbed "Boris Island" by the press. "Let's finish things that already underway before thinking of new ones".

But the "garden paradise" was canned by Sadiq Khan, who said he could not justify the £200 million construction.

"Whether pioneering supersonic travel or better connecting our countries through the Channel Tunnel, cooperation between our nations has produced radical innovation".

After the summit, a joint statement praised the United Kingdom and France's "long history of collaboration in delivering cutting-edge technologies".

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Boris Johnson proposes 22-mile bridge to connect United Kingdom and France