Nicola Sturgeon: SNP accused of ‘sheer hypocrisy’ as Twitter users highlight awkward fact | UK | News
Furious Twitter users pointed out the Scottish Government were in support of the £20billion plans “until Boris wanted it”. Critics accused the SNP of being against “anything and everything positive that Westminster does for Scotland” and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was just taking the “opportunity to have a dig” at Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The criticism comes after Ms Sturgeon said funding for the proposed bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland should be sent to Holyrood and Stormont instead.
Speaking at a conference in London, Ms Sturgeon suggested the bridge would likely never be built and mocked Mr Johnson saying she was interested to see how far he could get with the plans.
The Prime Minister said on Monday work is underway to establish the feasibility of a road crossing between Portpatrick in Scotland and Larne in Northern Ireland.
But Ms Sturgeon raised questions about the section of the Irish Sea where the proposed bridge will cross, which is reportedly a major munitions dump.
She also said the administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland could benefit in the immediate future from a portion of the £20 billion it would cost to build the crossing.
The SNP leader said: “If you’ve got £20 billion available to build a bridge, I’m pretty sure me and I’m sure equally the First Minister of Northern Ireland would be able to find things to spend that on right now that actually would be really useful to accelerate the progress to net-zero.”
Nicola Sturgeon lamented Boris Johnson’s idea for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland
Addressing the Prime Minister directly, she added: “I’m happy to take the £20 billion, Boris, but maybe not spend it on your latest bridge.”
Firing a shot at Mr Johnson, she said this was not “the first bridge that Boris Johnson has promised and failed to deliver”.
Ms Sturgeon added: “I’m really ambitious about Scotland and our connections and our closest neighbours in the rest of the world.
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Nicola Sturgeon lamented Boris Johnson’s plans for bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland
“I think to say there are some big questions around the feasibility and deliverability of the suggested bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland would be an understatement.
“Far be it from me to point out that this would not be the first bridge that Boris Johnson has promised and failed to deliver so he has something of a track record.
“If he wants to prove that this can be done and its feasible and deliverable then let’s see how far he can get with it.”
The Prime Minister recently said work is underway on plans for the bridge
But furious Twitter users were quick to point out that in March 2018 the Scottish Government said it was ready to initiate discussions with Belfast and in Dublin about the feasibility of building a bridge.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government told the BBC’s ‘The View programme’ that it would “initiate discussions to explore improving connectivity between our two islands”.
The idea was also back by senior SNP figure Michael Russel, Scotland’s Brexit Minister, who said the plans were a “good idea”.
One said: “They were all for a bridge up until Boris wanted it.”
Michael Russell disagreed and said the plans were a “good idea”
Another said: “I thought SNP said a bridge would be good not that long ago, so why has that thought changed!”
One Twitter user posted: “The SNP are against anything and everything positive that Westminster does for Scotland.
“They won’t however turn down the billions of pounds given to them to waste on their pathetic independence day dreams or @NicolaSturgeon flying around pretending to be important #resign.”
Another tweeted: “They just automatically want the opposite to anything suggested by England. If the Brexit result was the opposite way round they’d have wanted to Leave! (sic)”
A Twitter user posted: “I thought they were for it, at least before BoJo jumped on the bandwagon?”
One added: “May 19 Nicola Sturgeon thought there were challenges and things to be discussed when asked about a bridge between Scotland and Ireland.
“Feb 20 she just thought it’s a good opportunity to have a dig at Boris.”
The crossing between Portpatrick in Scotland and Larne in Northern Ireland
And Twitter users also pointed out that SNP MSP Michael Russel had even backed plans for the bridge.
The Scottish MSP for Argyll and Bute told the Republic of Ireland’s upper house joint committee on EU affairs in February 2018: “I’ve seen many proposals for fixed links. In the 19th century there was a proposal for a railway tunnel between the north of Ireland and Campbeltown.
“I think it’s a great idea, it would open up my constituency and that’s a good headline to see.
“There’s a lot of talking to be done about that but I think it’s important that talking starts. I know recent coverage indicates that it should happen.
“As the local MSP, I would definitely support it.”
A Twitter user posted: “Their sheer hypocrisy over this bridge is astounding! There were no objections a few months ago when Russell backed plans for such a bridge.”