THE UK Government has made “no official contact” with the Scottish Government over the latest twist in the “Boris bridge” saga, it has emerged.

Officials were bemused to see the latest headlines about Johnson’s proposed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Originally floated as a bridge connecting the two, it’s also been suggested that a tunnel could be carved out instead, with a feasibility on the infrastructure scheme commissioned on behalf of the government by Sir Peter Hendy, who is leading its Union Connectivity Review.

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On Tuesday the Financial Times reported that a Treasury spending crackdown had sunk plans for what one unnamed Westminster source called “the world’s most stupid tunnel”. A UK Government spokesperson did not deny that proposals for an Irish Sea link had been shelved, but on Twitter Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said that would be “a wise decision”.

And in the Scottish Government, officials were going by what they were reading in the news. A source told The National: “You’ll be amazed to learn we’ve had no official contact on this.”

The price tag on such a project has been estimated at anything from £15 billion to £33bn. Scotland Secretary Alister Jack (below) has said he’s in favour of a tunnel option, telling reporters last year that he’d “had conversations along those lines with the Prime Minister”.

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Critics of the scheme have pointed out not only the price tag, but also the matter of Beaufort’s Dyke, the deep underwater trench where more than a million tonnes of munitions were dumped after the Second World War.

Matheson has described it as a “vanity project”, stating that the prospect of such a transport link is “not a priority for the Scottish Government and it’s not a priority for the Northern Irish Executive”.

Yesterday a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Transport infrastructure is a devolved matter and the Union Connectivity Review was established without any meaningful discussion with devolved administrations. We seek to engage constructively with the UK Government, however, not in a way that undermines the devolution settlement.

“The Scottish Government has not investigated or undertaken any feasibility for a fixed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland and has no current plans to do so. Transport Scotland are currently undertaking the second Strategic Transport Projects Review, which will inform the Scottish Government’s future transport investment priorities.”

In its official statement, the UK Government said: “Boosting connectivity across the UK and improving transport infrastructure are at the heart of our levelling-up agenda. That is why we asked Sir Peter Hendy to lead a Union Connectivity Review to look at future transport priorities, based on the wider strategic case for investment and the benefit it will bring to people and businesses across the UK.

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“On the back of his interim report in March, we have committed £20m to develop plans that can assess options on road and rail schemes. We’re now looking forward to his final recommendations ahead of the spending review, where we will consider and confirm funding plans for delivering improved connectivity between all parts of the UK.”

The development comes after Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and Scotland Office minister Iain Stewart accused each of their administrations of failing to talk to the other over the Union Connectivity Review. Appearing before the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster, Forbes said the Scottish Government had been “excluded from anything to do” with the report, while Stewart said “every invitation to the Scottish Government has been rebuffed”.

Committee chair Pete Wishart said: “There seems to be massive tensions between the two governments.”