CHECKS will be needed on some goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK as part of Brexit, the UK Government has said but insisted red tape will be kept to a "minimum".

The Cabinet Office said some infrastructure screening of animal and food products at ports would be "expanded" to avoid checks at the UK-Ireland land border.

From January, Northern Ireland will have to follow EU rules on agriculture and manufactured goods, ensuring access to its single market and keeping the border with the Republic free-flowing in a key concession maintaining a decades-old peace.

Screening would be supported by electronic processes, the Cabinet Office explained, once the transition period ended in December.

"Our proposals will deliver unfettered access for Northern Ireland businesses to the whole of the UK market; ensure there are no tariffs on goods remaining within the UK customs territory; discharge our obligations without the need for any new customs infrastructure in Northern Ireland and, finally, guarantee that Northern Ireland businesses benefit from the lower tariffs we deliver through our new free trade agreements with third countries," said Michael Gove, the minister overseeing the Brexit preparations.

The EU wants to avoid Northern Ireland being used as a backdoor entry point to its market and has pressed for controls.

The UK's position paper said there would be some limited additional process surrounding goods arriving in Northern Ireland, using "all flexibilities and discretion".

Louise Haigh for Labour said Boris Johnson had “finally faced reality” on the Northern Ireland protocol plans.

“His deal will mean additional checks and processes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But seven months of denial and mixed messages from the very top have cost businesses the vital time they needed to prepare.”

The Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary added: “While we welcome the engagement today, these proposals are desperately short on the detail businesses and communities are crying out for. There are 32 weeks until these changes come into force and businesses are still in the dark.”

Wendy Chamberlain for the Liberal Democrats also claimed there was a lack of significant detail on the proposals such as the added costs and bureaucracy for Northern Irish importers.

“These plans are too little, too late,” declared the Fife MP. “The Government are still yet to come up with any concrete solutions to the many issues thrown up by Boris Johnson’s ideological Brexit plans.

“Coronavirus has made it even more apparent how crucial seamless supply chains are between Ireland and the UK. With just weeks to go until the deadline, it is clear the Government must extend the transition period as a priority. This is the right thing to do for businesses and families across the UK,” she added.

The DUP’s Arlene Foster, the First Minister, insisted the UK's objectives must be "unmovable" and not saddle Northern Irish businesses with any further costly administrative burdens.