Will this pose a problem in what we imagine Boris’s plan to be?

Grateful to Stewart Wood on Twitter for pointing this out… and that, in fact, that it was as the result of an amendment put forward by no other than Jacob Rees Brexit.

53 thoughts on “OH DEAR”

    1. Yup… pretty much. I’m sure Mr Silly Suits will read Hamlet at Eton and be aware of that phrase.

      Just as a point of interest the word “petard” derives from the French “Péter”…erm, to break wind (from the rear, or as we say in Scotland, to “trump”.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Tsk. Such pesky things, laws, no wonder people break them all the time. Whose bright idea was it to invite Jake Rees-Smugg into the Cabinet anyway? Better if they’d bunged him in a Privy Cabinet and locked the door on him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Does that mean the bridge is scuppered then?

      Mind you, when you think of the mess he made of the Garden Bridge, and that was across 100 years of river (and with the lovely Joanna Lumley to assist), perhaps it’s better that it never see the light of day.

      I mean 120 miles of railway on dry land is defeating the Brits. What chance would they have with a bridge over the Irish Sea, through the World War Two arms dump…?

      Not as if anything could possibly go wrong with that, is it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve said this before, I’m sure, but a bridge across the North Channel is not the obvious and axiomatic impossibility that so many people seem to think that it is. A bridge to Norniron would be a Great Good Thing, if feasible, and even better if it carried trains as well like the bridges in New York do, most of them. (The 25th of April suspension bridge over the Tagus between Lisbon and Almada is about the same age as our own Forth Road Bridge, as it opened in 1966 – and the train deck was added in 1999. I find that quite amazing, which is why I mentioned it.)

        There are really long bridges all around the world, many of them multimodal, if you like: combinations of various types of bridges, tunnels, floating tunnels, tethered pontoons… the Norwegians, for example, are doing extraordinary things to link up their country over, under and through their forbidding terrain and topography. Then there’s the example of the Øresund Bridge, a combined road and rail bridge (8km) and tunnel (4km) between Copenhagen and Malmö. It’s about 20km across the North Channel. How to get across the Beaufort Dike is a matter for the engineers too; a challenge, not an obstacle.

        If you want to get a quote to reslate your roof, you ask a roofer, not a petrol station. If you want to find out whether a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland is feasible and if so what it will cost, you ask the specialists in bridge-building. The last person you should ask about how much how much such a bridge would cost and if it’s feasible in the first place would be someone like Boris Johnson. We really shouldn’t rubbish the idea before we know both those things for sure – because if we operate on the basis that something can’t be done, then it most certainly won’t be. It would have helped too if Boris had kept his gob shut about it, because his blessing on anything is pretty much the kiss of death.

        After decades and centuries of Cringe, we Scots need and individuals and as a nation to give up underestimating ourselves and doing ourselves down, and as a nation we are perfectly and provably capable of carrying out major infrastructure projects. It is insane to say otherwise, like saying we’re not capable of running our own central bank and currency. We shouldn’t forget either that we wouldn’t be doing it alone or even with the Northern Irish alone – the Republic too has a great deal to gain by supporting the project, and because the ferry link is classified as on of the EU’s key transport axes, we can pretty safely assume that EU funding would be forthcoming too, especially with two independent European States in favour of it.

        I’m leaving England and the Westminster regime out of the equation, because – well, you know…

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I don’t really knock it, Ed. But this was a UK idea, and the UK, infrastructure and success aren’t words I’d normally associate in the same paragraph.

          I’ve little doubt that it is possible to build a tunnel, bridge or floating tube, although they would need to be sure to remove all the WWII bombs first.

          I’m sure that engineers could work out a way of combating the problems of the depth and the very high winds, I suspect though, that it would be costly.

          I agree that many countries, from China to Switzerland to the Nordic lands, have built amazing bridges, or tunnels. There is no reason why Scotland, with its tradition of engineering, couldn’t.

          But the UK seems to be unable to build 120 miles of railway on land without the cost escalating. Or indeed a bridge over the Thames without it becoming material for a comedy show.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sorry Tris, I understand; I didn’t mean to sound critical, gut I’m a grumpy old sod.

            I’d say only that the UK’s incompetence in carrying out major infrastructure projects without incurring immense costs and ending up with massive budget overruns is no excuse for not having a look at the project ourselves and seeing if it can be done better if it can be done at all. Like I said – the last person we want to ask about anything to do with bridges (or tunnels or whatever) is Boris Johnson: we need experts, however little Michael Gove likes’em.

            I’ve just done a bit of research, and discovered that the Beaufort Dyke is between 200 and 300 metres deep. Now, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in the Swiss Alps is 35½ miles long (i.e., significantly longer than the width of the North Channel, but of course it’s a (dual bore) rail tunnel because it is so long. The crests of the mountains it runs under reach almost 3,000 masl and it runs from 460 masl to the north and 312 masl to the south (if I understand correctly), so the Beaufort Dyke is far from being too deep to tunnel beneath, or under such great hydrostatic pressure.

            The longest road tunnel in the world to date is the Lærdal Tunnel in Norway, at 15¼ miles. Obviously, while road vehicles continue to produce toxic emissions, a road tunnel under the whole North Channel can be ruled out because no one would build a ventilation system that would probably have to be bigger than the tunnels themselves – but that would change when all vehicles are electric or hydrogen-fuelled. The nice thing about tunnels is that they are true all-weather links, and you never have to worry about them freezing up either.

            For making the link bridges for some of the way and tunnels the rest – whether below the Beaufort Dyke entirely or floating in it, and calculating and assessing the risks from and costs of dealing with WWII ordnance by detonating the ones that still work, or clearing them or leaving them in place – ask the engineers and the explosives experts. I’ve been looking for reports of explosions from Beaufort Dyke munitions, and although there are reports of explosions when the Scotland-Northern Ireland gas Pipeline (SNIP) was being built, the pipeline was completed in 1996, i.e., coming on a quarter of century ago. The last report I have found in my admittedly cursory search of the internet of munitions washing up on the Scottish coast were in 1995. The Dyke was no longer being used a dumping ground by some time in the 1970s, and one would hope and expect that it wouldn’t last forever in seawater under high pressure. But – we would have to ask the relevant experts to investigate, obviously.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Fair enough, Ed.

              I’d prefer a tunnel, I think. The winds in that channel would certainly put me off driving across a bridge.

              I wonder if it wouldn’t be a better idea to look at a rail tunnel, rather than road.

              We should be encouraging public transport. And cars could be carried on the train in the same way that Euro Tunnel does.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I just came across an article entitled “Ireland-Scotland bridge is scuppered by the MoD” by Paul Kavanagh in the National of 24 January 2018, which I have archived at https://archive.is/U3ad2 (when I found it, I realised I had actually read it at the time). I differ with WGD in only one respect: I do not believe that a tunnel beneath the Sheuch is not feasible, as I explain above. After all, we are well accustomed to mines going down to (googles frantically) t0 4000 m and more below ground, such as the Mponeng gold mine (https://is.gd/KFebdx) in South Africa.

                I just checked something else: London’s Crossrail involves 13 miles of dual-bore tunnel under central London. The whole Crossrail project is coming in at £17.6 billion, according to Wikipedia. I’m giving that as an example because although longer and through harder rock, a tunnel under the North Channel would not have so many associated costs along its length, terminal to terminal.

                Paul mentions also the need to upgrade transport links on the Scottish side of the bridge / tunnel as well, and the not insuperable difference in gauge between railways in Ireland and Britain (the Spanish coped with a similar problem using variable gauge rolling stock, and constructing their AVE high-speed trains at standard European gauge).

                The upgrades would necessarily include dualling (I hate that word) and electrifying the Ayr to Stranraer railway line and reinstating and electrifying the Dumfries-Stranraer one. We should probably be looking at doing some of that anyway. The A75 has needed upgrading for a good long time too. We would not be doing all that on our own, I hasten to add: I am as sure as I can be that European funds would be forthcoming, because the crossing from Scotland to Northern Ireland and the road and rail links leading to it are classed as parts of a key European transport route (unfortunately, I can’t find a source for that, because I’m tired. Perhaps a kind Munguinite will do the work for me).

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Good research there, Ed.

                  It hadn’t occurred to me that the train gauges were different in Ireland. but I seem to remember that the Russian gauge and the Mongolian gauge are different and we have to have the wheels changed at the border on the Moscow-Beijing train.

                  Or I suppose, people could just change trains.

                  The infrastructure would breed to be built on the Scottish side though, but that is not an impossibility.

                  If Norway can do this sort of thing without EU aid, I’m sure we could.

                  Just don’t let Johnson anywhere near it.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Dup 10, 4 hrs talk SNP NIL
    They’re spinning so hard they’ve got themselves into a fank. All the sheep are in the fank with them.
    The great news is that doris says we can’t have a referendum, his actuality says he might just say I can get what I want without the SNP wasters in our englandland parliament.
    So arlene and dodds get to talk for 4 hours with the doris about the deal, on the face of it either a huge bung this time or the dup abstain.
    After all the agreement was only for the last parliament, this is a new one as there has been a speech by lizzie the last.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh I heard they wanted a good few billion this time… although, to be fair, social media is fair brimming with suppositions.

      How they seem to dislike Scotland and the SNP so much. What did we ever do to them except provide endless amounts on money?


  3. Many chickens coming home to roost now for the Brexiteers.
    They thought they could just ignore Ireland to begin with and then threaten them with starvation if they didn’t agree to roll over.
    Then they came up with the cunning plan that Eire could leave the EU and rejoin England’s union.
    They didn’t bank on a union which supports small nations because that is not how they operate the UK union and completely failed to understand the consequences.
    They appear to be now relying on the DUP to surrender so that they can ditch NI.
    No surrender,Rule Britannia,never never….
    We shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe they are trying to keep NI in the UK Customs Union de jure (in law), but in the EU Customs Union de facto (in fact). Apply EU tarrifs on entry to NI and provide a rebate if the goods stay in NI, fudge by any other name. So the Tax Cross Border 2018 Act applies de jure but doesn’t de facto. They could of course repeal this provision, but they will probably just keep the work around.

    This is Scotland’s position in the UK, de jure we are in a partnership but de facto we have been subsumed by way of votes. This is why the chosen indy battleground is the Courts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What they are proposing sounds like a crooks paradise. Open to fiddling and smuggling big time.

      Not that that would stop them. I can imagine a pile of crooks in parliament rubbing their hands with glee as they consider who they can make money on it.


  5. Bloody hell!

    Having gone through every post here I’d assume that separation will happen tomorrow, or sooner.

    Frankly, I want Scotland to beat Boris into a pulp. I want us to bloody well win.

    Is this, sort of, guaranteed?


    The guy is a wily, allegedly dead pig fetishist – who knows – who continues to occupy, quite why I will never understand – the highest office in our state(s).

    This should not be our leader. He should be set aside and hated on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What we need to do is persuade our fellow Scots that we would be better off independent.

      So far we’re on the edge of that.

      Today’s slap in the face should help us along the way.


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