Boris Johnson's bridge-to-France plan not floating yet, says Downing Street

Could the Channel be bridged

Image Could the 20-mile Channel be bridged

Jonathan Roberts, communications director at UK Chamber of Shipping, told Sky News: "Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world's busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges".

Johnson tweeted: "I'm especially pleased we are establishing a panel of experts to look at major projects together". At it's narrowest point, the Channel is just over 20 miles wide. A bridge would have to span the 22-mile (35-kilometre) channel between Dover, on England's south coast, and Calais in northern France, but shipping experts wondered what knock-on effects it would have.

Mr Johnson, who as Mayor of London infamously sought to promote the idea of an offshore island airport in North Kent, has apparently turned his attention to another potentially controversial idea.

The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said: "All ideas merit consideration, even the most far-fetched ones", noting that the Channel Tunnel already linked Europe's second and third-largest economies.

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"Our economic success depends on good connections", he said, suggesting the Channel Tunnel should only be considered a "first step".

But, when you look at some of the mind-boggling bridges elsewhere, Boris's bridge seems quite tame.

It is not the first time that Johnson has raised the idea of a major infrastructure project.

And in fact the idea of a bridge across the Channel is nothing new.

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He is in the United Kingdom visiting Theresa May to rebuild some altogether different Brexit bridges, his first such trip as President.

Sources close to Mr Johnson claimed the French president was enthusiastic about the idea of a new link.

Reacting to Johnson's suggestion engineers have said the idea of a bridge would be hard but not out the question.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and France's President Emmanuel Macron hold a news conference at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, Britain, January 18, 2018.

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"Whether pioneering supersonic travel or better connecting our countries through the Channel Tunnel, cooperation between our nations has produced radical innovation".

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