Border Control Checks: Update

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 3rd November 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 2:30 pm, 3rd November 2020

I assure the Member that I am a Brexiteer and that I am also a Minister. There are others who will oppose Brexit and will be Ministers, and they are perfectly entitled to do that. The reality for the Member is that we are leaving the European Union. That is done and dusted. On 31 December 2021, the implementation period will be over.

I oppose the points of entry. I always have. The protocol brings huge problems to us. Nonetheless, it is an imposition that has been placed upon us. We will provide the appropriate personnel and will seek to reduce any invasion whatsoever by the number of inspections that need to take place and minimise those as much as possible in order to retain normal business relations with key customers and suppliers. I see absolutely no point in creating barriers between us and our key markets and, indeed, our key suppliers. All that that will do is cause job losses in Northern Ireland and cost consumers more money. If the Member wishes to have that, stand up and say it. I do not.