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Where do universities figure in the government’s priorities for exiting lockdown?

Let’s start this week with the astonishing story reported in The Sunday Times that at the behest of the prime minister, the High Speed Rail Group, an industry body charged with a review of transport links, is set to consider a plan to build three tunnels connecting Northern Ireland to Stranraer, Liverpool and Heysham via a “roundabout” under the Isle of Man. Such a plan would put London’s never-materialised garden bridge and estuary airport in the shade.

The newspaper quotes one official as describing the plan for Douglas Junction as “batsh*t”, saying that it is a “Fuhrer bunker project” so cherished by Boris Johnson that it “cannot die”. “Just as Hitler moved around imaginary armies in the dying days of the Third Reich, so the Number 10 policy unit is condemned to keep looking at this idea, which exists primarily in the mind of the prime minister,” the paper’s source said. “The roundabout is round the bend.”

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