UK government asked to clarify responsibility for Irish Sea trade checks after Scotland refuses

The UK government has been asked to clarify who will be responsible for implementing checks on trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain after the Scottish government ruled out checks at Scottish ports.

Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots told MLAs earlier this week that Scottish ministers had indicated they are not “willing to accept any checks at any ports” as part of a post-Brexit trade deal.

He added: “Scotland was as firm as I was on that: we would not put infrastructure in our ports to facilitate that.”

The Scottish government has said it is still “seeking clarity” on its legal responsibilities under any post-Brexit agreement.

A spokesperson said: “It is no secret that the Scottish government maintains that Scotland’s best interests are served by remaining in the EU, with tariff and barrier-free access to a market of 450 million people.

“The Scottish government has been seeking clarity on how the UK Government intends to fulfil its legal obligations under the protocol, and the implications for Scottish government responsibilities.”