THERE has been much talk in the media recently about the “Boris Bridge” or “Boris Tunnel” – a transport connection between Larne in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland. I have seen that many politicians and some in the media are quick to slam this idea as infeasible, and although not an engineer myself, I can’t help but ask myself why so many are quick to jump to conclusions before a single brick has been laid or feasibility study completed.

For years, politicians on both sides of the Irish Sea have discussed this idea, with the Irish and Northern Irish governments being keen because of the huge benefits it would bring to the island of Ireland’s economy. Even outgoing Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar and Northern Irish first minister Arlene Forster agreed that it was an ambitious and possible project.

The problem is, however, the idea of a bridge connecting the two islands isn’t what is being criticised – it is the fact that Boris Johnson is the one pushing it. The criticisms of the “Boris Bridge” are unfortunately indicative of the politics of today. Lazy journalists and politicians would much rather play the man and not the ball.

This isn’t the first time that journalists and opposition politicians have been quick to criticise ideas and proposals purely because they came from the Prime Minister. Not too long ago, people had written off a successful departure from the EU and decided that the Withdrawal Agreement would never be reopened or passed by Parliament. I would have hoped that they would look to this and see what is possible when you have a leader who is ambitious and determined to get stuff done.

That is not to say that there are not valid concerns – the fact that several tons of Second World War munitions are sitting at the bottom of the Irish Sea would of course make any bridge or tunnel construction difficult, or near impossible. However, there is nothing lost from exploring the possibility. In fact, Nicola Sturgeon had previously said that her mind was not closed to the idea and the SNP-supporting The National even wrote an article supporting the proposal, dubbing it “The Celtic Bridge”.

Ultimately, this proposal, whether a bridge or tunnel, should be symbolic of the strength and relationship of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom. I believe strongly that we must be ambitious in a post-Brexit world and infrastructure projects like this are just the start.