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Johnson's Channel bridge idea poses 'challenges,' shipping firms say

Europe
19.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London (dpa) - The British shipping industry and opposition politicians reacted with scepticism on Friday after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested building a 35-kilometre bridge to France across the English Channel.

"Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world‘s busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges," UK Shipping, which represents more than 180 British shipping companies, said on Twitter.

Emily Thornberry, the opposition Labour party‘s shadow foreign secretary, said she had initially ignored a report on the plan.

"I assumed it wasn‘t real," Thornberry wrote on Twitter. "Apparently it is."

"Who are these clowns claiming to run our country?" she added.

Johnson was "now really running out of ideas to improve international relations," according to a tweet from the opposition Liberal Democrats.

Johnson reportedly raised the idea of the bridge during a biennial summit of British and French ministers on Thursday, which was led by French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Macron supported Johnson‘s idea, saying: "I agree. Let‘s do it," the Daily Telegraph quoted unidentified sources as saying.

The newspaper quoted Johnson as saying it was "ridiculous" that two of the world‘s largest economies were "linked by a single railway," referring to the Channel Tunnel link.

Writing on Twitter, Johnson said he was pleased that the two sides had agreed to set up "a panel of experts to look at major [infrastructure] projects together."

"Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections," Johnson wrote. "Should the Channel Tunnel be just a first step?"

 

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