The DUP’s Edwin Poots said he has instructed legal experts to look into the Northern Ireland Protocol, which has been implemented since January as part of divorce negotiations agreed in 2019.
Accusing the deal of being unconstitutional, he said the deal had caused a barrier to trade and risked undermining the integrity of the United Kingdom.
Mr Poots said: “Ultimately the Protocol needs to go.”
The Northern Ireland Protocol has effectively created a trade border down the Irish Sea, goods travelling from Britain to the province require customs checks to ensure they meet EU rules and regulations.
However, the measure has angered unionists, who accuse it of disrupting trade within the United Kingdom and say it breaks the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Poots said he was preparing to take legal action against both the UK Government and the EU for the introduction of the customs checks.
“It is my intention to lodge judicial proceedings against the Protocol,” Mr Poots said.
“I would hope that the Department for Economy and Department for Health – because this is having major implications for medicines and medical devices – will join with us in taking an action against the European Union and UK government for the damage that it is inflicting on all of the people of Northern Ireland.”
More to follow…