The agreement consists of two interconnected documents, both of which were agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April 1998: the agreement reached was that Northern Ireland would be part of the United Kingdom and would remain so until a majority of the population of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so wished. If this happens, the British and Irish governments will be subject to a “binding commitment” to implement this election. The old text contains only four articles; it is this short text that is the legal agreement, but it includes the latter agreement in its annexes.  Technically, this envisaged agreement can be distinguished as a multi-party agreement as opposed to the Belfast Agreement itself.  The agreement establishes a framework for the creation and number of institutions in three “policy areas”. These institutional arrangements, created in these three strands, are defined in the agreement as “interwoven and interdependent”. In particular, it notes that the functioning of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the North-South Council of Ministers is “so closely linked that the success of the other depends” and that participation in the North-South Council of Ministers is “one of the essential responsibilities associated with the relevant posts in [Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland]”. In the context of political violence during the unrest, the agreement committed participants to “exclusively democratic and peaceful means of settling disputes over political issues.” This had two aspects: the direct London regime ended in Northern Ireland when power was formally transferred to the new Northern Ireland Assembly, the North-South Council of Ministers and the British-Irish Council when the regulations entering into force of the British-Irish Agreement entered into force on 2 December 1999.    Article 4(2) of the United Kingdom-Ireland Agreement (Agreement between the British and Irish Governments implementing the Belfast Agreement) required both governments to notify each other in writing that the conditions for the entry into force of the United Kingdom-Ireland Agreement were fulfilled. Entry into force should take place upon receipt of the last of the two communications.  The British government agreed to attend a televised ceremony at Iveagh House in Dublin, the Irish Foreign Office. Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, attended early in the morning of 2 December 1999.
He exchanged views with David Andrews, Ireland`s foreign minister. Shortly after the ceremony, at 10.30.m., the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, signed the declaration formally amending Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution. He then informed Dáil that the British-Irish Agreement had entered into force (including certain agreements additional to the Belfast Agreement).   The overall result of these problems was to damage unionists` confidence in the deal, which was exploited by the anti-sectarian DUP, which eventually overtook the pro-deal Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in the 2003 general election. The UUP had already resigned from the executive power-sharing branch in 2002 following the Stormontgate scandal, in which three men were accused of obtaining information. These charges were eventually dropped in 2005 on the controversial grounds that the persecution would not be “in the public interest”. Immediately afterwards, one of the accused Sinn Féin members, Denis Donaldson, was denounced as a British agent. Under that agreement, the British and Irish Governments undertook to hold referendums in Northern Ireland and the Republic on 22 May 1998 respectively. The referendum in Northern Ireland is expected to endorse the agreement reached in the multi-party negotiations.
The purpose of the referendum on the Republic of Ireland was to approve the BRITANNICO-Irish Agreement and to facilitate the amendment of the Constitution of Ireland in accordance with the Agreement. The conference takes the form of regular and frequent meetings between british and Irish ministers to promote cooperation at all levels between the two governments. In cases which have not been transferred to Northern Ireland, the Irish Government may present positions and proposals. All decisions of the Conference shall be taken by mutual agreement between the two Governments and the two Governments in order to make determined efforts to resolve disagreements between them. The agreement was reached after many years of complex discussions, proposals and compromises. Many people have made important contributions. Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern were at the time leaders of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It was chaired by US Special Envoy George Mitchell.  The main issues that Sunningdale omits and addresses in the Belfast Agreement are the principle of self-determination, recognition of national identities, British-Irish intergovernmental cooperation and legal procedures to make power-sharing compulsory, such as inter-community voting and the D`Hondt system for appointing ministers to the executive.   Former IRA member and journalist Tommy McKearney says the main difference is the British government`s intention to negotiate a comprehensive deal involving the IRA and the most intransigent trade unionists.  With regard to the right to self-determination, two reservations are mentioned by the legal author Austen Morgan.
Firstly, the transfer of territory from one State to another must be done through an international agreement between the British and Irish Governments. Secondly, the people of Northern Ireland can no longer achieve a united Ireland alone; they need not only the Irish Government, but also the people of their Irish neighbour to support unity. Morgan also pointed out that, unlike the Ireland Act 1949 and the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, which were drafted under Sunningdale, the 1998 Agreement and the resulting UK legislation expressly provided for the possibility of a united Ireland.  The agreement contains a complex set of provisions covering a number of areas, including: During negotiations on the UK`s planned withdrawal from the European Union in 2019, the EU presented a position paper on its concerns about the UK`s support for the Good Friday Agreement during Brexit. The position paper covers issues such as the avoidance of a hard border, North-South cooperation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the birthright of all northern Irish residents (as defined in the agreement) and the common travel area.   Anyone born in Northern Ireland and therefore entitled to an Irish passport under the Good Friday Agreement can retain EU citizenship even after Brexit.  In accordance with the European Union`s Brexit negotiating directives, the UK was asked to convince other EU members that these issues had been raised in order to enter the second phase of Brexit negotiations. .