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Britain’s Johnson says confident of tariff-free trade deal with EU

BELFAST (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said he was confident that he could secure a zero-tariff, zero-quota trade deal with the European Union, which would ensure no checks on goods being moved from Britain to Northern Ireland.

Johnson was speaking to journalists in Northern Ireland, a British region that has agreed to maintain alignment with EU market rules under Britain’s EU exit deal in order to avoid a hard border with EU member Ireland.

“The only circumstances in which you could imagine the need for checks coming from GB (Great Britain) to NI (Northern Ireland) … is if those goods were going on into Ireland and we had not secured – which I hope and I am confident we will – a zero-tariff and zero-quota agreement with our friends and partners in the EU,” Johnson said.

(Reporting by Ian Graham. Writing by Conor Humphries. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)