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A new Chunnel? Tunnel connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland may soon get green light

Feb. 17, 2021
3 min read
A new Chunnel? Tunnel connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland may soon get green light
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A long-awaited tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland could get the go-ahead as early as next month.

The connection — dubbed Boris’ Burrow due to the prime minister’s enthusiastic backing — would span from Larne in Northern Ireland to Stranraer in Scotland and be roughly the same length as the Channel Tunnel.

It is believed the ambitious plan would ease post-Brexit tensions after Johnson’s withdrawal agreement created checks for ferry cargo goods traveling between the countries.

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(Photo by PixHouse/Getty Images)

Last year the U.K. government tasked the chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy with coming up with ideas to better connect the four home nations.

Initially, a bridge was considered, but the treacherous Irish sea would mean it would be closed for “probably 100 days a year,” said Scottish Secretary Alister Jack. That particular distance between Ireland and Scotland is a shipping lane known for its rough waters.

So a tunnel, approximately 20 miles long and servicing both trains and cars, could be a cheaper and more viable option.

Hendy will release a study that will deliberate on whether the tunnel crossing is an option next month, according to City A.M.

It is believed he has already had his last meeting with Johnson to determine if the government should commission a formal feasibility study of the project.

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Larne, the seaport town in County Antrim,  Northern Ireland. (Photo by Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo/Getty Images)

“My strong inclination would be that he [Sir Hardy] thinks it should be a tunnel because he and I have had conversations about the weather patterns in the Irish Sea and Beaufort’s Dyke, and there’s a munitions deposit there,” Jack said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “Tunnels deal with all those problems.”

The Prime Minister has long been behind this audacious project, estimated to cost around £2 billion (about $2.8 billion), which would be a fixed link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

However, Tory MP Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland Select Committee, has dismissed the idea as “fanciful.”

“The trains could be pulled by an inexhaustible herd of Unicorns overseen by stern, officious dodos. A PushmePullYou could be the senior guard and Puff the Magic Dragon the inspector. Let’s concentrate on making the protocol work and put the hallucinogenics down,” he tweeted.

Regardless, any project would also have to avoid Beaufort’s Dyke, a 30-mile trench up to 300 metres deep — Britain’s largest-known military dump.

Meanwhile, a similar project called the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link is being constructed in Europe. It’s an 11-mile tunnel under the Baltic Sea connecting Germany with Denmark.

It will provide a major link between central Europe and Scandinavia and is due to be completed in 2029.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.