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4 Feb, 2022 16:32

Court intervenes after minister accused of breaching international law

High Court in Northern Ireland has declared that import checks on food and farm goods must remain in place pending a judicial review next month
Court intervenes after minister accused of breaching international law

Belfast’s High Court ruled on Friday that border checks on food and agriculture products entering Northern Ireland from Britain must remain in place until a judicial review can take place.

The judgment from the court means that the checks cannot be removed before late February, a date set by the European Union and UK officials to resolve disagreements over the post-Brexit trade measures.

The intervention from the Belfast court comes days after Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Edwin Post demanded an immediate pause on any checks on food and farm goods moving between the region and mainland Britain.

The Democratic Unionist Party politician announced the order in opposition to the post-Brexit measures, but his actions quickly sparked a backlash. The Irish government argued it violated international law, while Sinn Fein, which shares power with Ports’ party, called it an unlawful “stunt.”

The border checks, imposed as part of the Northern Ireland protocol, effectively create a border along the Irish Sea, frustrating British officials by requiring inspections and document checks for items moving between mainland UK and Northern Ireland.