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Tories’ tribute to Anglo-Irish pact

The Conservatives tabled a motion in Westminster yesterday marking the 25th anniversary of the Anglo-Irish agreement.

Tory MP Therese Coffey said the historic deal, which gave Dublin a role in Northern Ireland for the first time in more than 60 years, was a key turning point in “significantly improved relations”.

Fiercely opposed by unionists at the time, who accused the Government of treachery, it also sparked resignations among Conservative ranks, with Treasury Minister Ian Gow (right) stepping down, despite being a key ally of Margaret Thatcher.

The former Prime Minister signed the agreement with Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald at Hillsborough Castle, setting out plans for regular conferences between the two governments.

Ms Coffey tabled the Early Day Motion to “acknowledge” the anniversary, adding that “it led to significantly improved relations between the governments of the UK and Republic of Ireland and continues to support the political objectives of a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland, within the UK, in which terrorism is history”.

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