We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Across the water

Boris Johnson denies misleading the queen and says NI-Scotland bridge would be 'very good'

Yesterday, a Scottish court found that Johnson’s prorogation was “unlawful”.

LAST UPDATE | 12 Sep 2019

Sky news Sky News Sky News

UK PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has denied misleading the queen in his advice to prorogue (or suspend) the British parliament for five weeks.

“Absolutely not,” he said, when asked by Sky News if he mislead the queen. He added that the High Court in England “agrees with us”, and that the Supreme Court would have to decide on the matter.

Johnson advised the queen to suspend parliament for five weeks until 14 October in order to wipe clean the legislative agenda. His critics, some of which are in his own party, said that this was an attempt to stifle parliamentary debate on Brexit.

Although prorogation is a normal parliamentary procedure, the length of the suspension and timing of it have led to concern among politicians, political experts and activists.

“We need a Queen’s Speech,” Johnson said today, “and parliament will have time, both before and after that crucial EU summit, to talk about the Brexit deal.” 

In response to reports that No 10 had criticised a Scottish ruling (that his prorogation was “unlawful”) as being politically motivated, Johnson said: “It’s very important we respect the independence of the judiciary. They are learned people.”

I’m not going to criticise or quarrel with the judges… the Supreme Court will have to adjudicate. 
The British judiciary is one of the great glories of our constitution. 

Johnson said that Operation Yellowhammer document, which was officially released last night, was a “worst case scenario” (a UK Revenue official said it was a likely worst case scenario, meaning it isn’t on the most extreme end of the scale.)

His government had been “massively accelerating” no-deal preparations since he became Prime Minister 50 days ago.

The ports will be ready, the farming communities will be ready, and all the industries that matter will be ready.

He said that his priority was still to get a deal:

“I think we can see the rough area of landing space of how you could do it. It will be tough, and it will be hard, but I think we can get there.”

Over troubled water

Channel 4 News / YouTube

After the idea raised its head again this week, the British Prime Minister also said today that he thinks a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland would be “very good”.

The ambitious proposal for such a link across the Irish Sea has been mooted many times in the past but has never been seriously discussed. 

Johnson raised it again in an interview with The Sunday Times early last year and the DUP has been supportive of the idea.

On Wednesday, Channel 4 News reported that UK government documents suggest that the feasibility of the project is to be explored and costed.

Referencing the idea today while speaking to schoolchildren who were on board a boat on the Thames, Johnson confirmed it was being considered. 

“[I was talking yesterday] about building a bridge from Stranraer in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland – that would be very good. It would only cost about £15 billion,” he said.

Engineers have raised several major obstacles to such a bridge including the length of the crossing, unexploded WW2 munitions and the weather on the Irish Sea.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy





Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel