The participants in the agreement were composed of two sovereign states (the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland), with armed forces and police forces involved in the riots. Two political parties, Sinn Féin and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), were linked to paramilitary organisations: the IRA (Commissional Irish Republican Army) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), associated with the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), had withdrawn from the talks three months earlier. On 10 April 1998, an agreement was reached to put an end to the problems of Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement. Here, historian Alan MacLeod studies the long road to the peace process, which wanted to reconcile two different traditions in Ireland – and looks at the legacy of the agreement… Both views have been recognized as legitimate. For the first time, the Irish government agreed, in a binding international agreement, that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom.  The Irish Constitution has also been amended to implicitly recognize Northern Ireland as part of the sovereign territory of the United Kingdom provided that the majority of the population of the island`s two jurisdictions has agreed to a unified Ireland. On the other hand, the language of the agreement reflects a change in the UK`s emphasis on the one-for-eu law to United Ireland.  The agreement therefore left open the question of future sovereignty over Northern Ireland.  A copy of the agreement was published in every house in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so that people could read before holding a referendum to vote.
Shortly after her election in 1993, Clinton appointed Democratic Senator George Mitchell as the U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland. It would give its name to the “Mitchell Principles” that led the negotiations and played a key role in securing an agreement. Liam Kennedy explains. Brooke also tried to connect northern Ireland`s constitutional parties. He proposed that cross-party discussions should be tackled in three areas: the first to deal with relations within Northern Ireland; the second, which deals with relations between the two parts of Ireland; and the third on the links between the British government and the Irish government. Discussions began in April 1991, but quickly became part of procedural disputes. But the three-part format should be at the center of the Good Friday agreement. The final withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK has agreed on a complex solution to this delicate problem.
Under the proposed regime, Northern Ireland, like the rest of the UK, would leave the EU customs union, the basis for common tariffs on all products imported into the bloc. However, the necessary customs checks would not take place at the border with the Republic of Ireland, but between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, creating a new border in the Irish Sea. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland – but not the rest of the UK – would continue to follow many of the EU`s internal market rules, so that the land border with Ireland could remain open.