Boris calls for a bridge over the Channel: Foreign Secretary puts forward the idea during talks after claiming it is ‘ridiculous’ the UK and France are only connected by a railway

Boris Johnson calls for bridge across the English Channel in barmy Brexit plan

The Foreign Secretary had already been plotting a multibillion-pound second Channel Tunnel for cars – now he could be taking it further

Boris Johnson raised the prospect of building a bridge or road tunnel between Britain and France during yesterday’s crunch summit.

The Foreign Secretary is understood to have put forward the idea of a second Channel Tunnel in the meetings at Sandhurst military academy.

He is understood to have told aides: ‘They are two of the world’s biggest economies and they are linked by a single railway. It is ridiculous.’

Mr Johnson had tweeted earlier in the day: ‘So much important work in [the UK-France summit] outcomes, but I’m especially pleased we are establishing a panel of experts to look at major projects together.

‘Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections. Should the Channel Tunnel be just a first step?’ Such a move could bolster ties between France and the UK post-Brexit, it is believed.

Mr Johnson joined the Prime Minister and French president Emmanuel Macron at the summit yesterday, along with other Cabinet members.

Last year it was claimed the Foreign Secretary had plotted a multi-billion-pound highway to show the EU the UK was not giving up on Europe despite quitting the bloc.

Mr Johnson was said to have abandoned the idea after being talked out of it by his aide Will Walden.

It was reported that in private conversations at the 2016 Tory Party conference in Birmingham, Mr Johnson said: ‘If you wanted to show your commitment to Europe, is it not time for us to have further and better economic integration with a road tunnel? That’s what we need.’ Mr Johnson claimed such a plan had been ruled out in the 1980s, but he added: ‘That’s all changed.

‘They now have the technology. You could come out of the EU but join Europe in the most fundamental way.’

He was said to have claimed that the move would be ‘a great symbol of European commitment’.

It’s not the first ambitious building project Mr Johnson has proposed – in 2013, while mayor of London, he suggested building a four-runway airport on an artificial island in the Thames estuary in a bid to ease growing pressure on Heathrow airport.

The project would have cost £47.3billion, but the plans were scrapped in 2014 by the Airports Commission.

Despite his idea’s failure, Mr Johnson published a report in 2016 re-introducing plans for the airport, which was nicknamed ‘Boris Island’.

In 2012, Mr Johnson launched the £60million Emirates Air Line cable car over The Thames, which he hoped would be used by commuters – but, in its first year, just 16 passengers were regular users of the service.

The Channel Tunnel took six years to build and opened in 1994. The £9billion, 31-mile rail tunnel links Folkestone with Coquelles near Calais.

The tunnel runs under the Channel for a total of 23.5 miles – making it the longest undersea section of tunnel in the world.

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