Good Friday Agreement Generation 7 Years
September 22, 2021
Colin McIlheney of PwC Research said the referendum on the Good Friday agreement had “clearly defined a generation”. The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, was signed on Good Friday, 10 April 1998. It consists of two closely related agreements, the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Multiparty Agreement. It led to the establishment of a de decentralised system of government in Northern Ireland and the creation of many new institutions such as the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive, the North South Ministerial Council and the British-Irish Council. The agreement establishes a framework for the establishment and number of institutions in three “policy areas”. In a context of political violence during the unrest, the agreement committed participants to “exclusively democratic and peaceful ways to resolve disputes over political issues.” A simple agreement allowing the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum, on which the UK Government and the Scottish Government had agreed, laid the groundwork for a Council injunction to delegate the power to hold such a referendum in order to be fully constitutionally compliant with section 30 of the Scotland Act. In 2004, negotiations were held between the two governments, the DUP and Sinn Féin, with a view to an agreement on institution-building. These talks failed, but a document released by governments detailing changes to the Belfast Agreement has been known as the “Global Agreement”.