BELFAST - Sources within the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have told the BBC they are pleased with Boris Johnson's new Brexit proposal to replace the Irish backstop.
It will be revealed at the Tory Party conference but the Daily Telegraph claims to have advance details.
It said it involves two borders until 2025 - a regulatory border in the Irish Sea and customs checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The time limit would give the Stormont Assembly a vote on the issue in 2025.
The newspaper's claims have not been confirmed, but the BBC News NI's political editor, Mark Devenport, has been getting reaction to the prime minister's purported "final offer" to the European Union.
"DUP sources appear happy and content with the proposal because they say the backstop was anti-democratic; gave Northern Ireland no say," said BBC News NI's political editor, Mark Devenport,
"But under the Boris Johnson offer, the Northern Ireland Assembly could choose to stay with this EU regulation, or move towards [regulatory alignment with] Great Britain in 2025.
"And the way that voting would operate in the Northern Ireland Assembly is that unionists, if they didn't like the road that Northern Ireland was going down, would be able to veto that and move towards Great Britain."
However, the Irish government has consistently rejected previous proposals that have involved customs checks on the island of Ireland or a time-limited backstop.
When unconfirmed reports of the UK's proposals emerged late on Tuesday night, Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney said he had not seen the details but he, again, rejected the idea of a time limit.
"So the rumour mill this evening is suggesting that there would be a four-year time limit and then a choice to be made by Northern Ireland at the end of that period, but again that's all speculation," Mr Coveney told Virgin Media's The Tonight Show on Tuesday.
"Our position has been very clear on a time-limited backstop. If it's time-limited, and you can't answer the question what happens at the end of that time period, then it's not a backstop at all."
Mr Coveney added that if the reports were true, then "it doesn't look like it's the basis for an agreement, that's for sure".(FA)