Skip to content

Why Did Unionists Oppose The Anglo Irish Agreement

by admin on December 21st, 2020

Contacts between the Irish and British governments continued after February 1987 as part of the formal structure of the IGC. Fears that violence in Northern Ireland would spread to Ireland as a result of closer Anglo-Irish cooperation following the agreement proved unfounded and the UUP decided to participate in new negotiations on Northern Ireland`s constitutional future in 1990/93. After the ceasefire was announced by republican and unionist forces in 1994, the UUP reluctantly joined talks with the British and Irish governments and other political parties in Northern Ireland. No agreement was reached by all parties prior to the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998, which created the Northern Ireland Assembly and new cross-border institutions. The other articles express their support for the creation of an Anglo-Irish parliamentary committee that would withdraw from the lower house and lower house of the Irish parliament (D`il) and provide for a revision of the agreement after three years. To dramatize their assertion that the agreement is contrary to the democratic atmosphere of the province, the trade unionists, who held 15 of Northern Ireland`s 17 seats in the House of Commons, resigned as a group. There was some risk in this manoeuvre, since four of the Unionist seats are in nationalist zones. Trade unionists represent these districts only because the moderate SDLP and sinn Fein, more militant, have divided the nationalist voice. To avoid dividing their own vote, trade unionists have entered into an electoral pact that names only one of their votes in each constituency. To encourage the two enemy communities of the North to cooperate, the negotiators of the agreement decided to call for the creation of an economic development fund financed by special grants from Great Britain, the European Community, Canada, Australia and, they hope, the United States. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Finance Act, President Reagan proposed and House of Representatives spokesman O`Neill is actively supporting a one-time grant of $250 million, with an effective envelope spread over five years. This money would go to a trust fund to be set up by the British and Irish governments.

The British Prime Minister has never been more inconsistent in his attitude and with Protestant trade unionists than during the hunger strike of irish Republican Army prisoners in the spring and summer of 1981. But, in retrospect, it appears that his harsh handling of this crisis triggered a course of events that led to the November 1985 agreement. As trade unionists are used to seeing the police as a shield against the IRA`s murderous defamation, this provision is an abomination for them.

From → Uncategorized

Comments are closed.