SDLP MP Patsy McGlone asked Mr Poots during a Stormont session about the infrastructure implications at Larne, a key Irish port in Northern Ireland, not being ready for the end of the transition period.
In response, the minister said he did not believe the computer system, which he described as very important, would be ready either.
He said his ministry was working closely with the UK government and warned them “over and over again” that Northern Ireland must maintain unhindered access to the UK market.
He said: “While the UK government has made it clear that trade between Northern Ireland and Britain will be unfettered, and the EU has not accepted that for that matter, and the EU must step back and accept the fact that if Britain wants to accept goods from Northern Ireland unhindered, they can get away with it.
“Northern Ireland needs to get as few checks as possible for goods from Britain, and the EU needs to make sure that happens and that the people of Northern Ireland are not injured as a result of their horse bargaining agreements. ”
Mr Poots also criticized the protocol as a ‘Westminster-imposed solution to an Irish problem in Northern Ireland’ and said he ‘does not necessarily trust the people negotiating on our behalf because we have been disappointed too often before ”.
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So far Stormont has secured £ 43million in funding for construction work, additional staff and IT related to the Brexit transition period.
Mr Poots said award letters for the design and construction of the proposed inspection facilities at the ports of Warrenpoint, Larne and Belfast were sent to contractors on October 7, with meetings to agree on deadlines for them. work to be done in the coming weeks.