Belfast Telegraph

Poll: How would you vote if the Good Friday Agreement was held today?

By Gareth Cross

Tuesday May 22nd 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the referendum held in Northern Ireland on the Good Friday Agreement.

Northern Ireland's major political parties (excluding the DUP) had signed the Agreement on April 10 1998 after months of negotiations with the UK, Irish and US governments.

The Agreement set out a new Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive and set-up inter-government bodies between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and between both countries and Great Britain.

It also included provision for a border poll, a vote on whether Northern Ireland should unite with the Republic of Ireland, if the majority of the people in Northern Ireland were in favour of it.

One of the most controversial elements of the Agreement was the release of prisoners who had been convicted of offences relating to paramilitary groups.

Parties agreed to work to ensure decommissioning among all of Northern Ireland's paramilitary groups before a deadline of May 2000.

Also agreed was the reduction of the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland and the formation of an independent commission into policing and a wide-ranging review of the justice system.

On May 22 Northern Irish voters were asked whether or not they supported the agreement.

In the Republic of Ireland, a separate referendum was held asking voters whether they would allow the state to sign a separate British-Irish agreement which gave up the Republic of Ireland's claim to the whole island of Ireland in its constitution.

The people of both jurisdictions needed to approve the agreement for it to be introduced.

In Northern Ireland 71.1% of people voted in favour of the Agreement with 28.9% against.

The people of the Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Agreement with 94.39% voting for and 5.61% against.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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