DUP MEP Diane Dodds has said her party will not accept any additional checks within the UK after Brexit – even over lasagne.
Speaking after meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, she illustrated what the DUP were opposing by saying an attempt to avoid a hard border with the Irish Republic could mean more regulatory checks on goods travelling between GB and NI.
She claimed under the EU position, there could be scores of checks on live animals and food products travelling within the UK.
Mrs Dodds says currently veterinary certificates are checked for animals coming into NI, with physical checks carried out on 10% of those.
“If we followed Mr Barnier’s advice, my information is that those checks would become 100%, although with a veterinary agreement in a future trade deal, that might be reduced somewhat,” she said.
“But remember, that’s checks on live animals, that’s the only checks that we currently have.
“SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) checks are something that is much much wider, that animals, plants and everything that is derived there from, that would therefore mean checks on food ... so therefore, our beef lasagnes, our yoghurts, our milk.”
Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir said the comments signalled a “bizarre new low” for the DUP over Brexit, adding: “Never mind the catastrophic impact on our economy and communities across Ireland, none of that matters to the DUP if there’s going to be checks on lasagne crossing the Irish Sea.”