The Department for Exiting the EU published the text of this “Stormont lock” – named after the parliament buildings at Stormont in Belfast – on Wednesday morning, as MPs prepared to recommence their debate on the deal, ahead of a vote next week. The key paragraph is 23, which says: “We will … legislate in domestic law to ensure that a UK Minister will be required to seek agreement of the Northern Ireland assembly before reaching any agreement in the UK-EU Joint Committee to add additional alignment provisions to the scope of the Protocol.”
What this means in principle is that, if the backstop comes into effect, the Northern Ireland assembly would be able to block changes to it.
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