The breaking news seems to be that Boris Johnson has struck a new deal with the EU. But the DUP is not on board. One interesting aspect is that
Northern Ireland representatives will be able to decide whether to continue applying union rules in Northern Ireland or not every four years
Mr Barnier told a press conference in Brussels that the final point - allowing for votes in the Northern Ireland Assembly - was "a cornerstone of our newly agreed approach".
The decision would be based on a simple majority, rather than requiring a majority of both unionists and nationalists to support the rules in order for them to pass.
About a week ago the EU had rejected this idea altogether
A “third party”, like the Northern Ireland Assembly, could not be allowed to impose a time limit on the arrangements set out in the proposed withdrawal agreement, commissioner Guenther Oettinger told journalists.
So clearly the EU made a concession. But so did the UK, the majority vote basically denies the DUP a veto they current have in Stormont, assuming the Northern Ireland Assembly actually meets; it hasn't in almost 3 years. But even with that British concession (on foregoing the "double lock" on this matter), why did the EU agree with a Stormont [majority] vote that might not even happen? Did the EU get any guarantees what would happen in the alternative, in which (four year) deadlines pass, but no vote is held at all in Northern Ireland on the matter?