No one expected the Unionist community or its leaders to like the deal, but an attempt was made to allay Unionist fears as much as words could. Both governments promised that Northern Ireland`s constitutional status could only be changed with the consent of a majority of the local population, and they recognised that the current desire of a majority is not a change. On the other hand, no effort was made to involve trade unionists in the negotiations. It was agreed that they would strongly oppose any role of the Dublin Government in Northern Ireland, regardless of how that role may be defined. The other articles express their support for the creation of an Anglo-Irish parliamentary committee of the House of Commons and the Dáil (the lower house of the Irish Parliament) and provide for a revision of the agreement after three years. The excessive language of politicians, the threats of violence from Armed Protestant men who possess an abundance of weapons and the grumpy mood of the entire trade union community, from academic intellectuals to the unemployed, do not bode well for the reconciliation of the two northern communities, which is the ideal that the agreement seeks to achieve. As the two governments worked to implement the deal, there was no reason to doubt the words of Barry White, deputy editor of the Belfast Telegraph and a respected observer of the northern scene, who had written a few months earlier: “Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists in Northern Ireland have never been so far apart.” Despite this pressure, the British government has not strayed from the agreement. This position led trade unionists to realised that the new framework could only be changed by negotiating a broader and transcendent agreement with all parties. The Intergovernmental Conference formalised relations between Great Britain and Ireland, accompanied by frequent contacts between the European Union at official and political level, which was a key factor in the Downing Street Declaration, the Joint Framework Document and the peace process in Northern Ireland in the 1990s. It could be successfully argued that Britain and Ireland now see the problem of Northern Ireland in the same light.
But the problem remains to filter this bias communities and political leaders in Northern Ireland. . . .