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How Did The Good Friday Agreement Come About

How Did The Good Friday Agreement Come About

On 10 April 1998, the so-called Good Friday Agreement (or Belfast Agreement) was signed. The agreement helped end a period of conflict in the region, known as a riot. After years of deadlock, the UK government has pledged to implement the legacy-related institutions outlined in the 2014 agreement as part of the January 2020 Stormont Recovery Agreement. However, uncertainty remains, particularly over how Johnson`s government will handle investigations into former members of the British security services for their actions in the northern Ireland conflict. The relationship between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, First Minister and Deputy First Minister, was a sign that Northern Ireland had really changed. The Presbyterian preacher and former IRA commander were once sworn enemies, but they suddenly worked together in the same office and were nicknamed “The Chuckle Brothers” because of their good relationship. Brooke also tried to connect northern Ireland`s constitutional parties. He proposed that cross-party discussions should be tackled in three areas: the first to deal with relations within Northern Ireland; the second, which deals with relations between the two parts of Ireland; and the third on the links between the British government and the Irish government. Discussions began in April 1991, but quickly became part of procedural disputes. But the three-part format should be at the center of the Good Friday agreement. In 2004, negotiations were held between the two governments, the DUP, and Sinn Féin, for an agreement to restore the institutions. The talks failed, but a document published by governments detailing the changes to the Belfast agreement was known as the “comprehensive agreement.” However, on 26 September 2005, it was announced that the Provisional Republican Army of Ireland had completely closed its arsenal of weapons and had “taken it out of service”.

Nevertheless, many trade unionists, especially the DUP, remained skeptical. Among the loyalist paramilitaries, only the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had decommissioned all weapons. [21] Further negotiations took place in October 2006 and resulted in the St Andrews Agreement. The most controversial issue was the Northern Irish border with the Republic of Ireland. The border, heavily militarized during the conflict, has since become essentially invisible, with people and goods crossing freely. This was largely possible because Ireland and the United Kingdom were part of the EU single market, a common set of rules that allow the free movement of goods, services, people and money within the bloc. The agreement required the transfer of authority over certain policy areas of the British Parliament to a newly created assembly in Belfast and paved the way for paramilitary groups to give up their weapons and engage in the political process. It has contributed to a sharp decrease in violence and the annual death toll, which peaked at 480 in 1972, has fallen to one figure in recent years.

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