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The Good Friday Agreement Summary

Northern Ireland has been living with this agreement for 20 years and its name (in any form) is never far from the languages of our politicians. After marathon negotiations, an agreement was finally reached on 10 April 1998. The Good Friday Agreement was a complex balancing act that reflects the three-strand approach. Within Northern Ireland, it has created a new de-elected assembly for Northern Ireland, calling for executive power to be shared by parties representing both communities. In addition, a new North-South Council of Ministers should be set up to institutionalise the link between the two parts of Ireland. The Irish Government has also committed to amending Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of the Republic, which appeal to Northern Ireland, to reflect the aspiration for Irish unity through purely democratic means, while accepting the diversity of identities and traditions in Ireland. Finally, a Council of The Islands should be created that recognises « all relations » within the British Isles, including representatives of both governments, and de-elected institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As part of the agreement, the British and Irish governments committed to holding referendums in Northern Ireland and the Republic on 22 May 1998. The referendum on Northern Ireland is expected to approve the deal reached at the multi-party talks. The Republic of Ireland`s referendum should approve the Anglo-Irish agreement and facilitate the modification of the Irish constitution in accordance with the agreement. A referendum was held on both sides of the Irish border (similar to Brexit, but certainly not Brexit) so that the people could decide whether or not they wanted the deal. The main themes addressed by Sunningdale and dealt with in the Belfast Agreement are the principle of self-determination, the recognition of the two national identities, intergovernmental cooperation between the British and Ireland and legal procedures for compulsory power-sharing, such as inter-community voting and the D`Hondt system for appointing ministers to the executive. [24] [25] Former IRA member and journalist Tommy McKearney says the main difference is the British government`s intention to negotiate a comprehensive agreement including the IRA and the most intransigent unionists.

[26] With regard to the right to self-determination, two qualifications are recorded by the writer Austen Morgan. First, the transfer of territory from one state to another must be done through an international agreement between the British and Irish governments. Second, the population of Northern Ireland can no longer be alone in united Ireland; They need not only the Irish government, but also the people of their neighbouring country, Ireland, to support unity. Mr Morgan also pointed out that, unlike the Irish Act 1949 and the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, drawn up under Sunningdale, the 1998 agreement and the resulting British legislation explicitly provide for the possibility of a unified Ireland. [27] The conference takes place in the form of regular and frequent meetings between British and Irish ministers to promote cooperation between the two governments at all levels.

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