Arlene Foster And The DUP’s “Crimean Bridge” To Scotland

Following the military annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea by the Russian Federation in early 2014, supposedly in response to the demands of local Moscow-backed separatists, Valadimir Putin ordered the construction of an 18 kilometre long road and rail bridge to connect the isthmus to “mainland” Russia. A symbol of the occupied area’s formal integration into the national territory of the federation, the building contract was awarded to a pipeline company owned by a close ally of the Russian president and is due for final completion in 2019.

I was reminded of this very recent history with the news that Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, the main political grouping for Ireland’s British separatist minority in the north-east of the island, is calling once again for a bridge to be built connecting the United Kingdom to its troubled colonial outpost across the Irish Sea.

From the Irish Times:

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster has called on Scots to back proposals to build a bridge to Northern Ireland.

Ms Foster said there was “growing support” for the idea as she addressed an Orange parade in Fife.

She was the main speaker at the Cowdenbeath event, organised by the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.

The DUP proposed a feasibility study into building a bridge to Scotland in 2015.

There is, of course, no support for the fantastical idea of a 35 kilometre long bridge between north-eastern Ireland and south-western Scotland, when most realistic estimates place the construction costs in the tens of billions of euros. Nor is there any real economic need for such a project when the money could be better spent on improving existing sea and air routes, and roads on either side of the Straits of Moyle. In fact, the concept is purely a political one, a desperate stunt latched onto by pro-union leaders in the UK-administered Six Counties, fearful that Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will further undermine the existence of the British legacy colony.

In truth, Arlene Foster’s “Northern Ireland” bridge is intended, like Vladimir Putin’s Crimean Bridge, to be nothing more than a physical manifestation of foreign occupation and annexation in this country. It will be a message of rejection to the Irish and nationalist majority population on the island, a refusal to countenance the interests or aspirations of Foster’s own immediate neighbours, while serving as a lifeline for partition, a visible declaration of the contested region’s Britishness and territorial connection to the United Kingdom. It will be a declaration of “No Surrender” wrought in concrete and steel to comfort unionists in the long twilight of post-Brexit Britain.

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8 comments

  1. The bridge idea is an amusing one alright, will never go anywhere but at least the tunnel idea has been dropped so there is some degree of sanity. The narrowest point between Torr head and the Mull of Kintyre is 20 km but I would not want to be a car or more especially a tractor-trailer driving through those crosswinds. Once you move away from the most extreme weather crossings the distance grows up to 35 km but then it cannot avoid’s Beaufort’s Dyke which is filled with nuclear waste and munitions dumped there by the UK.

    This is just one more desperate turn in the bargaining phase of Unionist grief in coming to terms with the prospect of re-unification.

      1. Is it feasible as engineering. What is the depth of the seabed there?

        As someone who uses roads in the North not that infrequently it would be no harm if she set her sights on getting them upgraded to the level of those in the Republic and let’s not even talk about cross-border roads.

        1. A least a bridge is an improvement on the undersea tunnel they were talking up back in 2007, I think. That proved a fantasy so now it’s on to bridges.

          Improving the main arterial routes either side of the Irish Sea, and north-south routes, would do far more at half the cost.

          But then the whole point is to reorientate the 6 Cos eastwards, towards Britain, in a post-Brexit hard border scenario. It’s the symbolism that is important not the economic return. The latter is pretty minimal. Especially if north-south and north-EU trade collapses. Hence the comparison to Putin’s Crimean Bridge.

          Personally I’m waiting for the suggestion that they landfill the North Channel to save the union!

  2. The thing about a bridge is that it takes traffic both ways, so once there’s an Indy Scotland on the other side the whole thing might appear in a very different light! No, Arlene, the money would much better be spent building a Trump-esque wall to seal you off from the Fenian Terror to your south 😉

  3. it would make it easier for people who do not want to stay after reunification to leave our country. Not a bad idea at all, actually. A tunnel is definitely preferable though for safety. Either way you can blow it up after they are gone. Should Scotland become independent, you can leave it up and build the wall at the southern border there to keep them out for good.

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