Rishi Sunak has lauded the “bravery, perseverance, and political imagination” displayed by the decision-makers who helped to design the peace agreement for Northern Ireland.
The decades-long violent war known as the Troubles in Northern Ireland came to an end with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
However, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the prime minister urged Stormont lawmakers to “get on with the business of governance.” On Tuesday, Mr. Sunak will see President Joe Biden in Northern Ireland as part of the historic occasion.
“The Good Friday Agreement” was “born of association amongst the United Kingdom and Irish governments,” Mr. Sunak remarked in praise of it. He stated, “It continues to enjoy significant international backing from our closest allies, as we will see during President Biden’s visit this week.” When Northern Ireland was established in 1921, the rest of Ireland became a sovereign nation, while Northern Ireland continued to be a part of the United Kingdom.
Due to this, the population is now divided into two groups: unionists, who want Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK, and nationalists, who want it to join the Republic of Ireland.
Numerous thousands of people were murdered and injured as violence broke out between the two sides during the Troubles, which lasted from the late 1960s to 1998.
Mr. Sunak stated that while it was crucial to consider the accomplishments, “we must also pledge to boost our efforts on the pledges we made in 1998 and the commitments that followed.”
Since February 2022, when the “Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)” overthrew the Stormont administration, Northern Ireland has been without a power-sharing government. Due to opposition to the post-Brexit trade agreements reached by the EU and UK, the DUP is skipping Stormont.
The Windsor Framework was approved last month to facilitate trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
However, because the DUP feels that it isolates Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, it voted against a crucial provision of the agreement.
Mr. Sunak stated, “We stand prepared to work with our partners in the government of Ireland and the local parties to ensure that the governing bodies are back functioning properly as soon as possible.”
On Sunday, Leo Varadkar, the Irish Prime Minister, stated that he intended to “intensify” his communication with Mr. Sunak over the Windsor Framework and power sharing in Northern Ireland. Historically, he claimed, the British and Irish governments have had to cooperate in order for the region to maintain political stability.