Future DUP leader offers solution to NI protocol

Democratic Unionist Edwin Poots (C) alongside his party colleagues Michelle McIlveen (R) and Christopher Stalford (L). [EPA/PAUL McERLANE]

Incoming DUP leader Edwin Poots has proposed a solution to the Northern Ireland protocol which has caused ongoing tension between Unionists and Republicans in Northern Ireland recently, the Irish Times has reported.

The current protocol has created a de facto trade border for certain goods crossing between the UK and Northern Ireland. “It is very simple to me,” Poots told Times Radio in an interview, adding that “goods that come into Northern Ireland within the UK are not a threat to the [EU] single market.

“Goods that travel through Northern Ireland to the EU are. So we need to ensure those goods that travel through Northern Ireland have a check in place. That check doesn’t have to be at the border in Newry, the check could be elsewhere,” the incoming DUP leader added.

Poots suggested a solution of a smaller number of checks limited only to goods travelling through the North to the Republic that would involve a “nominal number of checks” because “not many goods” travelling to the EU go through the North from Britain.

Supermarkets like “Sainsbury’s, Tesco and local convenience stores should not have their products checked,” he said, adding that animals being “sold back and forward” between the North and Britain should also be uninhibited by extra inspections. (Paula Kenny | EURACTIV.com)

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