Boris Johnson has declared he will not “implement” or “enact” checks on goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain despite arrangements for customs controls under the Brexit deal he agreed last month with the EU.
In a visit to Northern Ireland, he told business representatives that elements of his Brexit deal related to exports from the region were greatly “misunderstood” and did not involve physical checks of goods.
But the prime minister was himself accused of misunderstanding the deal he negotiated as video of his speech appeared online.
The issue goes to the heart of the collapse of the government’s relations with the Democratic Unionist party, which has branded the Brexit deal a “disgrace” because of the new customs paperwork local businesses selling goods to Great Britain will be required to complete.
On a flying visit to a Tayto crisp factory in Tandragee, County Armagh, Johnson insisted his critics had got the wrong end of the stick.
He said: “There will not be checks, and I speak as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and a passionate unionist. There will not be checks on goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain because we’re the government of the United Kingdom and we will not institute or implement or enact such checks. Read more