The Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) was signed on 15 November 1985 at Hillsborough Castle (the symbolic seat of British power in Northern Ireland) by British and Irish Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Garret FitzGerald. It was the sixth in a series of intergovernmental summits that began in May 1980. Hillsborough was qualitatively different, as previous summits took place in an atmosphere strained by hunger strikes, the Falklands War and the Brighton bomb. The communiqué attached to the agreement recognized its historical importance. It came into force on 29 November after being ratified by the British House of Commons and registered at the United Nations on 20 December 1985. In Northern Ireland, an agreement has been reached to allow the transfer of police and judicial powers to the Northern Ireland executive. Irish republicans have been able to reject the only constitutional advance (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.  Some outstanding issues remained unresolved and other agreements were needed, namely the Stormont House Agreement (2014); Stormont House: Fresh Start Agreement (2015); and New Decade, New Approach (2020). DUP President Peter Robinson said the agreement “will be more sustainable because of the time spent on education.” The agreement had a strong institutional framework. Article 2 was a powerful axis.
In the second part, point (a), it established an intergovernmental conference on Northern Ireland and relations between the two parts of Ireland, which periodically deal with political issues; (ii) safety and related issues; (iii) Legal issues, including the administration of justice; and (iv) promoting cross-border cooperation”; and 2, point b): “The Uk Government accepts that, at the conference, the Irish Government will present opinions and proposals on Northern Ireland issues, as these issues are not within the jurisdiction of a deceded administration in Northern Ireland.” It could be said that Article 2 has brought greater influence to constitutional nationalism than it has ever done since partition. The line of compensation consisted of Article 1, which sought to reassure trade unionists of Northern Ireland`s dominant constitutional position, and Articles 4, points b), 5 (c) and 10 (b), which acted as a catalyst for decentralisation rather than a stronger role for the conference. In addition, Article 11 allowed the work of the conference to be reviewed within three years. Brown, who visited Belfast this morning, said the deal was possible through “a new spirit of mutual cooperation and respect.” The British House of Commons voted by a majority of 426 votes (473 in favour and 47 against, the largest majority during Thatcher`s term) in favour of a proposal to approve the agreement. The majority of the Conservative party voted in favour (although there were a few Unionist MPs in the party who opposed it), as did labour and the Liberal-SDP Alliance. Of Northern Ireland`s main parties, only the Social Democratic and Labour nationalist parties (SDLP) and the Inter-Community Alliance Party supported the agreement.