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 agreement was negotiated as a step towards easing long-standing tensions between Britain and Ireland over Northern Ireland, although trade unionists in Northern Ireland (who were in favour of the UK`s continued existence) strongly opposed their southern neighbour having a say on domestic policy issues. Many political leaders – including Thatcher, who had been strongly committed to British sovereignty in Northern Ireland – were convinced that a solution to years of religious violence in Northern Ireland could only be found through a comprehensive agreement. “The UK government accepts that the Irish government should comment and make proposals on Northern Ireland`s affairs. It is likely that no government will invite another government to consult on the problems of its own jurisdiction, unless it intends to take this advice seriously. The agreement does not provide for conciliation or dispute resolution procedures. All he says is that “in the interest of peace and stability, the conference will make a resolute effort to resolve any differences.

Unionist leaders hailed the agreement with a violent denunciation, calling it a “betrayal” of the British government and spreading violence. The Rev. Ian Paisley, chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party, predicted that the consequences of the agreement would be “too terrible to think about” and warned the Dublin government that “the total anger of the Unionists will fall on your heads.” The deal was rejected by Republicans because it confirmed Northern Ireland`s status as part of the UK. The Provisional Republican Army of Ireland (IRA) continued its violent campaign and did not support the agreement. Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams condemned the agreement: “… formal recognition of the division of Ireland… [it`s] a disaster for the nationalist cause… [it] far outweighs Dublin`s impotent advisory role. [42] On the other hand, the IRA and Sinn Féin claimed that Britain`s concessions were the result of their armed campaign, which gave political recognition to the SDLP. [43] Brian Feeney of the SDLP proposed that the agreement expedite Sinn Féins` 1986 decision to abandon the abstention of the Republic`s Oireachtas. [44] Irish Republicans have been able to reject the only piece of constitutional progress (in the eyes of many nationalists and republicans) since the fall of Stormont a decade earlier.

As such, the agreement reinforced the political approach advocated by the SDLP and contributed to the republican recognition of the principle of approval as the basis for a fundamental change in northern Ireland`s national status by republicans, which was explicitly declared draft in the 1998 agreement. However, in ten years, PIRA announced a (first) ceasefire and the two governments negotiated with both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland, which culminated in the Good Friday agreement. [47] To dramatize their assertion that the agreement is contrary to the democratic sentiment 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.