Terms of the Anglo Irish Agreement
The Anglo Irish Agreement, also known as the Hillsborough Agreement, was signed on November 15, 1985, by the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and the Irish Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald. This historic agreement aimed to acknowledge the Irish government`s interest in Northern Ireland and to promote political stability in the region by giving the Irish government a formal advisory role.
One of the key terms of the Anglo Irish Agreement was the establishment of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC). This Conference was made up of members from the British and Irish governments and served as a forum for discussion on issues related to Northern Ireland. It was designed to encourage co-operation between the two governments and help resolve disputes peacefully.
Another significant provision of the agreement was the recognition of the principle of consent. This meant that the status of Northern Ireland would remain part of the United Kingdom unless a majority of its citizens voted to join a united Ireland.
Furthermore, the agreement provided for the creation of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which was intended to give the people of Northern Ireland a say in how they were governed. The Assembly was suspended in 2002 following allegations of espionage and resumed in 2007.
Other terms of the Anglo Irish Agreement included the establishment of a Joint Secretariat in Belfast, which provided administrative support for the AIIC and helped to implement the agreement`s provisions. The agreement also addressed human rights issues, such as the need to combat discrimination and promote equality, and recognized the importance of cross-border cooperation in areas such as trade, tourism, and the environment.
In conclusion, the Anglo Irish Agreement was a landmark agreement that helped to improve relations between the British and Irish governments and promote peace and stability in Northern Ireland. Its various terms, including the establishment of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and the recognition of the principle of consent, were significant steps towards reconciliation and cooperation in the region.