Northern Ireland’s infrastructure minister has blasted plans to build a tunnel linking the region and Scotland - describing it as 'just a fantasy' that's never going to be built.
Boris Johnson wants to build a tunnel crossing the 30 kilometres of sea separating Northern Ireland and Scotland - a project that's been dubbed the 'Boris Burrow'.
The UK government announced today it’ll carry out an official feasibility study into the proposal - a step closer to it actually happening.
Construction experts will look into the "cost and timescale" of such a project, the Daily Telegraph reports.
However, Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon dismissed the idea.
The SDLP politician said: "I think it's an abuse of taxpayers' money. The proposal is not viable. It is extravagant in terms of even conservative estimates of how much it would cost.
"It's certainly not a priority for the people of Northern Ireland.
"This tunnel is just a fantasy - it's never going to be built. We've seen Boris Johnson's track record... what does happen is significant sums of public money is tunneled towards consultants to this out outlandish piece of work."
She said a 'conservative estimate' for the cost of the tunnel would be around £33 billion (€38.5 billion).
She said she wouldn't have an issue with a tunnel if they had a 'magic money tree', but that many parts of Northern Ireland's critical infrastructure is 'crumbling' at the moment and needs funding.
Aodhán Connolly, the director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, says businesses don’t want the tunnel either.
He said: "A better use of this money, perhaps, would be to upgrade the roads that need upgrading in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
"Then [they should] subsidise the ferry network."
A final recommendation on the tunnel is expected to be made some time during the summer.
Previous plans put forward by Mr Johnson for a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland have fallen out of favour as there were concerns it would be too complex and expensive.