by Graham Pierrepoint
Of all the political figureheads that the UK has seen over the past few decades, Boris Johnson – former Mayor of London, Brexit ‘Leave’ Spearheader and current Foreign Secretary – remains one of the most newsworthy. His list of sound bites and idiosyncratic moments in the press are far too many to list here – and in his role as Foreign Secretary under Theresa May, the politician has made it his mission to represent Britain in his own inimitable way. Love him or hate him, there’s no one quite like Boris. This week, he’s claimed headlines after meeting with the French Presidency – having expressed the desire to potentially unveil a bridge across the English Channel, effectively allowing people to transport between the old allies of France and Britain like never before.
Johnson is keen on the idea as he feels that there should be a more solid link in place between the two countries than the mere Channel Tunnel – and while his words have appeared intriguing to both British and French travellers, some are concerned about where the money for such a project could come from – and it seems as though he’s not getting much in the way of backing right now. Least of all is he being supported by Theresa May, whom – though she hasn’t spoken out personally on Johnson’s proposals – has advised through spokesperson that there are ‘no plans’ for such a bridge at this time.
Watch: Boris Johnson Proposes Way To Link Britain And France ▶
While Johnson’s meeting with French Premier Emmanuel Macron may have gone well in his eyes – as a cheeky photo on Twitter of the pair giving a thumbs-up appears to suggest – experts such as architects seem less keen on just how feasible the proposal could be in practice. Such a bridge across the channel would stretch a length of 35km or 22 miles – and concerns levered by the likes of the UK Chamber of Shipping have only done more to dampen the prospects of Johnson’s dream. Further to this, of course, Twitter has taken the idea and run with it – offering the old British sarcasm and the odd bit of photoshop into the mix to help greet the news.
Is Johnson’s idea of a bridge across the English Channel a move towards making peace with bridging the gap – literally – between European countries? With Brexit supposedly set to take place in just over a year from now, time is ticking on keeping those continental friendships in check – though whether Boris will get his bridge is anyone’s guess!