THE UK Government is reportedly considering plans to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland as part of efforts to revive the economy.

Boris Johnson is expected to accelerate £5 billion worth of infrastructure projects in a bid to soften the blow of the coronavirus crisis.

The plan – touted by Downing Street as a modern version of Franklin D Roosevelt’s “New Deal” despite falling well short the equivalent percentage spend compared to GDP – will bring forward spending on projects in England such as hospital maintenance, school refurbishment, and road projects.

The Prime Minister will also ask devolved administrations to identify “shovel-ready” infrastructure upgrades, though no extra funds will be allocated via the Barnett Formula since all of the projects earmarked in the £5bn scheme have already been announced.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson's £5bn post-Covid economy plan 'falls short'

Johnson is expected to order a review of proposed transport links and upgrades, including a bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The PM claimed earlier this year that work is under way to assess the feasibility of a bridge between Portpatrick and Larne – estimated to cost £20 billion. But the BBC has since revealed that no feasibility study has been commissioned by the UK Government.

The Scottish Government branded proposals for the 20-mile link a “vanity project”, with Nicola Sturgeon calling for the money to be sent to Scotland and Northern Ireland for more urgent infrastructure upgrades.

Ahead of his announcement today, Johnson was urged by the SNP to devolve more financial powers to Holyrood to aid the recovery from coronavirus.

READ MORE: Call for urgent Scotland talks with PM over Northern Ireland bridge

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Ian Blackford warned failing to deliver them could result in redundancies, business closures, budget cuts, and prolonged damage to Scotland’s economy.

He wrote: “Without them the Scottish Parliament will be left tackling this unprecedented crisis with one hand tied behind its back.”

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said the “New Deal” falls “eye-wateringly” short of what is required.

She called on the UK Government to invest in a post-lockdown stimulus package equivalent to 4% of GDP, like Germany has done.

“The equivalent for the UK would be £80bn,” she tweeted this morning. “So, not only is £5bn eye-wateringly short of a 'New Deal', it falls short of other countries too.”