Northern Ireland minister accused of breaching international law after he orders halt to Brexit agri-food checks at ports

UK

Northern Ireland’s agriculture minister says he has issued an order to halt Brexit agri-food checks at the nation’s ports, citing legal advice.

The checks are required under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Edwin Poots says he will seek an agreement from the power-sharing government on a way forward in the near future.

Speaking at Stormont, Mr Poots said: “I have taken legal advice in relation to my position from senior counsel. Earlier today, I received that legal advice.”

He added: “The advice concluded that I can direct the checks to cease in the absence of Executive approval.

“I have now issued a formal instruction to my permanent secretary to halt all checks that were not in place on 31 December 2020 from midnight tonight.”

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