Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has appealed for all parties in the Stormont Executive to come together to make a joint case to the European Commission and UK government on changes necessary to the NI protocol.

Appearing in front of the Stormont Agriculture committee last Thursday, the new DUP leader suggested it is possible to avoid any borders within Ireland, or between NI and Britain, while at the same time protecting the EU single market.

“I believe there is a means of doing that,” he said.

It is understood that the proposal would rely on the likes of a trusted trader scheme whereby any goods coming into NI ports, for sale solely in NI outlets, would not face any checks or controls.

“My plan is to ensure there is a better way found and there isn’t 15,000 checks per week taking place on goods coming into NI,” said Minister Poots. He pointed out that there isn’t the supply of vets available locally to conduct the checks. “The EU need to recognise what they are asking of us is not deliverable, and in any event, not logical,” he added.

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