DUP: Brexit talks extension should lead to tariff-free deal

The extension of post-Brexit trade talks should lead to a tariff and quota-free deal, unionists in Northern Ireland said.

The movement of goods from Great Britain to the country should take place with a minimum of checks, the DUP’s Lord Nigel Dodds declared.

The North Belfast-based peer added: “The DUP has always believed that barriers and tariffs between North/South or East/West were neither necessary nor sensible.

“If we find ourselves in a no-deal outcome between the UK and EU, as far as Northern Ireland is concerned then Northern Ireland-EU trade will continue.

“Trade between Northern Ireland to Great Britain will be unfettered, with no extra paperwork.

“We must ensure that Great Britain to Northern Ireland trade is tariff-free and with the minimum checks.”

DUP Westminster leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson previously said safeguarding the Union is an “enduring commitment”.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has dismissed any suggestion that implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, decided in a separate deal with the EU last week, threatens it.

Under the protocol, keeping some of the country’s regulations in line with the EU single market, border control posts will be established at ports such as Belfast to check that animal product standards meet those of the EU.

The prospect that many goods from Great Britain could face a tariff when entering Northern Ireland has been addressed due to a trusted trader scheme.

Ulster Unionist Assembly member Roy Beggs said: “EU officials will now be sent to Northern Ireland ports to look over the shoulder of UK officials who are doing the checking at the border control posts.”

He added: “That’s where we have now ended up after the DUP’s support for Boris Johnson’s proposals last year.”

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