LONDON, England: A proposed 21-mile undersea tunnel to link Scotland and Northern Ireland will not be funded, according to British officials.
Proposed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at an estimated cost of at least £15bn, government officials have said the project is "dead," prior to next month's budget meetings.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave cabinet members until Monday to finalize their bids for public spending. However, he has warned that he wants to "put the public finances on a sustainable path in the medium term".
The government's spending decisions will determine funding in the public sector until the next election, with schools, courts, local councils and transport all seeking more cash after the COVID crisis.
Sources reported that Johnson was said to be seeking a way to link Northern Ireland to Great Britain after the upheavals sparked by his Brexit policy.
However, Dominic Cummings, Johnson's former chief adviser, said in July, "The prime minister's only agenda is to buy more trains, buy more buses, have more bikes and build the world's most stupid tunnel to Ireland."
Meanwhile, a government spokesman would not comment on whether the Northern Ireland link would be taken off the table after the spending review, noting that "boosting connectivity across the UK and improving transport infrastructure are at the heart of our 'leveling-up' agenda".