A copy of the agreement was published in every assembly in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so that people could read before a referendum where they could vote. On 9 January 2020, the British and Irish governments proposed to northern Ireland`s political parties the « New Decade, New Approach » agreement, which provides for a balanced package of measures to make Northern Ireland`s policy and government more transparent, accountable, more stable, more inclusive and more effective. 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.  In 2010, the signing of the Hillsborough Agreement enabled the transfer of police and judicial powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, which began later that year. It also included an agreement on controversial parades that had led to persistent conflicts between communities. Republicans were increasingly seeing the benefits of combining a political strategy with armed struggle. Sinn Féin, the political equivalent of the IRA, began to contest the elections and regularly won between 10 and 15 per cent of the vote.
This raised serious concerns from both the British and Irish governments and influenced the negotiations that led to the Anglo-Irish agreement. The « Balls and Urns » strategy created tensions within the republican movement, which was to be carefully managed by Gerry Adams, who became president of Sinn-Féin in 1983. The experience of drifting towards far-left politics in the 1960s and deeply rooted abstentionism – the refusal to accept or take legitimacy from political institutions in the Republic, Northern Ireland or Westminster – in the republican movement have made many people wary of political engagement. The North-South Council of Ministers is made up of ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government. It has been set up in twelve areas of common interest « for the development of consultations, cooperation and actions ». These include six areas in which the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government form common policies, but implement them separately in each jurisdiction, and six areas in which they develop common policies implemented by common institutions across Ireland. The agreement recognises Northern Ireland`s constitutional status as an integral part of the United Kingdom and reflects the wishes of the majority of citizens. But he also established a principle of approval – that a united Ireland could emerge if and if a majority of the population of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland wanted to.
In this case, the British government would be required to hold a referendum and respect the result. The peace process has successfully achieved the violence of unrest over the past two decades.