Good Friday Agreement
|Location||Belfast, Northern Ireland, Belfast|
|Description||A major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990|
The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) or Belfast Agreement was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. Northern Ireland's present devolved system of government is based on the agreement. The agreement also created a number of institutions between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The agreement is made up of two inter-related documents, both agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April 1998:
- a multi-party agreement by most of Northern Ireland's political parties (the Multi-Party Agreement);
- an international agreement between the British and Irish governments (the British-Irish Agreement).
The Good Friday Agreement set out a complex series of provisions relating to a number of areas including:
- The status and system of government of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. (Strand 1)
- The relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (Strand 2)
- The relationship between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. (Strand 3)
Issues relating to sovereignty, civil and cultural rights, decommissioning of weapons, demilitarisation, justice, and policing were central to the agreement.
The agreement was approved by voters across the island of Ireland in two referendums held on 22 May 1998. In Northern Ireland, voters were asked in the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement referendum, 1998 whether they supported the multi-party agreement. In the Republic of Ireland, voters were asked whether they would allow the state to sign the agreement and allow necessary constitutional changes (Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland) to facilitate it. The people of both jurisdictions needed to approve the agreement in order to give effect to it.
The British-Irish Agreement came into force on 2 December 1999 with the help of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was the only major political group in Northern Ireland to oppose the Good Friday Agreement.
|Document:The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit||Article||19 March 2019||Patrick Cockburn||What we are seeing is the two most divisive issues in modern British history coming together in a toxic blend: these are Brexit and the Irish question.|
|Document:The Price of Peace||blog post||6 November 2018||Craig Murray||It is not possible to understand the current state of play in Brexit negotiations, without understanding that those effectively driving the Tory Party position do not view a hard border with Ireland as undesirable. They view it as a vital achievement en route to rolling back power sharing and all the affirmative measures which brought peace to Northern Ireland, in an affirmation of the glory and power of unionism.|