Stormont would be given a say on new EU rules if the border backstop comes into force after Brexit, the government has proposed. It comes as Prime Minister Theresa May continues in her bid to win over MPs opposed to her Brexit deal. MPs are set to debate the withdrawal agreement ahead of a crucial vote in the House of Commons next week.
Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington told the BBC the plans amounted to giving the NI Assembly a "veto". However his official written statement to Parliament does not contain the word "veto".
The Democratic Unionist Party, who Mrs May relies on for her Commons majority, described the proposals as "meaningless" and of "no real significance". Sinn Féin said it was opposed to any Stormont "veto" mechanism. Northern Ireland has been without a functioning devolved government since the executive collapsed in January 2017.
The backstop is a position of last resort to maintain a soft border on the island of Ireland. It would involve Northern Ireland staying in large parts of the EU single market, unless and until a long-term deal emerged that kept the border as open as it is now.