The Northern Ireland Protocol has effectively created a trade border down the Irish Sea, goods travelling from Britain to the province require customs checks to ensure they meet EU rules and regulations.
However, the measure has angered unionists, who accuse it of disrupting trade within the United Kingdom and say it breaks the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Poots said he was preparing to take legal action against both the UK Government and the EU for the introduction of the customs checks.
“It is my intention to lodge judicial proceedings against the Protocol,” Mr Poots said.
“I would hope that the Department for Economy and Department for Health – because this is having major implications for medicines and medical devices – will join with us in taking an action against the European Union and UK Government for the damage that it is inflicting on all of the people of Northern Ireland.”
He said an eminent QC has been appointed, and is “currently scrutinising every aspect of that protocol”.
“This has been imposed by Westminster, paid for by Westminster to placate the demands of Dublin and indeed the pro-Protocol parties, that is Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Green Party and as a result every consumer will feel the pain of this protocol,” he added.
The threat of legal action comes after Mr Poots announced he is running to replace Arlene Foster as leader of the DUP.
More to follow…