Northern Ireland news

DUP MPs and Brexiteer Tories call for scrapping of plans to build border posts at north's ports

An early day motion calling for the scrapping of plans to build permanent border control posts was signed eight DUP MPs and six backbench Conservatives. Picture by Mal McCann

PRO-BREXIT Tories and the DUP have combined to fire a warning shot across the British government's bows over Irish Sea border posts.

An early day motion at Westminster signed by the DUP's eight MPs and six backbench Conservatives, including former ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and David Jones, calls for the scrapping of plans to build permanent border control posts at the north's ports.

Last month, in the absence of a Stormont executive, the British government laid a so-called statutory instrument before parliament giving Whitehall officials the authority to order the completion of infrastructure for checks on agrifood products arriving from Britain.

The move potentially facilitates the creation of 'red' and 'green' lanes for goods.

The motion, which is largely symbolic, says that the construction of the border posts "give effect to a customs border that divides the UK, treating Northern Ireland like a foreign country".

It says the purpose of the posts "is to protect the integrity of a different legal regime in Northern Ireland created by laws" imposed in more than 300 areas.

Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry criticised the DUP motion, insisting the border control posts were a requirement to implement the protocol and were also included in the government's controversial Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood accused the the DUP of "constant negative agitation" over the protocol.

The Foyle MP said an early motion that effectively urged the British government to "renege on their legal obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement" was "no way to build trust".