Boris Johnson's Brexit 'fantasy' is 'profoundly stupid and immeasurably dangerous'

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (Sept 11) he would continue to insist that the so-called backstop - a clause relating to the Irish border - is removed from any exit deal he agrees with the European Union.

Documents obtained by Channel 4 News show that both the Treasury and Department for Transport have now been asked to look into the costs and risks of such a bridge.

One of the risk factors is said to include "WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea".

Johnson will meet leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party, the Northern Irish party which supports his government, later on Tuesday to discuss Brexit.

Judgment is due at Belfast High Court this morning in a legal challenge that argued the UK Government's Brexit strategy will damage the Northern Ireland peace process.

According to the broadcaster, the DfT has drawn up a "factual paper on the subject" following conversations between the DUP and former transport secretary Chris Grayling.

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

Brexit: What's Jeremy Corbyn's thinking?
The PM is expected on Tuesday to continue to campaign for the election he is yet to have any success in triggering. But the only way to break the Brexit deadlock once and for all is a public vote in a referendum.

This equates to a lead of 51% to 49% for unification if "don't knows" and those who say they would not vote are excluded.

But the fact the project has been developed shows the lengths the Government is prepared to try to unpick the problems it faces with a potential border between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom post-Brexit.

"The political and symbolic importance of such a link can't be underestimated".

"The Prime Minister rejected a Northern Ireland only backstop in a letter to Donald Tusk on 19 August", said Arlene Foster.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also refused to rule out the idea when pressed on the matter earlier this year.

He added: "With infrastructure projects, finance is not the issue, the issue is political will".

He estimated the cost would be between £15 billion and £20bn.

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