Irish Border Poll Good Friday Agreement
Section 1 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 ensures that Northern Ireland will not leave the UK without the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, who vote in a poll. It gives the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland the general power to appoint one; with the duty to do so at all times, it seems likely that a majority would be in favour of a united Ireland. There is a minimum interval of seven years between surveys. If there is a vote in favour of a united Ireland, proposals must be submitted to Parliament to formulate this wish, which have been agreed between the British and Irish Governments. However, I do not hear any reservations about this particular referendum. Perhaps the mistake was not to include the possibility of a European referendum in the 1998 agreement. Between 1956 and 1962, the IRA conducted a border campaign against the outposts of the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary with the aim of ending British rule in Northern Ireland. This coincided with the brief electoral success of Sinn Féin, which won four seats in the 1957 Irish General Election. This was her first electoral success since 1927 and she did not win seats in the Republic of Ireland until 1997. The frontist campaign was totally unsuccessful in its objectives. In 1957, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote: “I don`t think a united Ireland – with de Valera as a kind of Irish Nehru – would do us much good.
Let us support our friends.  A border poll would not be a good idea now, as “he would be defeated,” says Varadkar Comments The agreement was reached between the British and Irish governments and eight political parties or groups in Northern Ireland. Three were representative of unionism: the Ulster Unionist Party, which had led Unionism in Ulster since the early twentieth century, and two smaller parties linked to loyalist paramilitaries, the Progressive Unionist Party (associated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Democratic Party (the political wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA)). Two of them have generally been described as nationalists: the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin, the Republican Party associated with the Commissional Irish Republican Army.   Regardless of these rival traditions, there were two other rallying parties, the Alliance Inter-communal party and the Northern Ireland Women`s Coalition. There was also the Labour Coalition. U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell was sent by U.S. President Bill Clinton to lead discussions between the parties and groups.  The agreement consists of two interconnected documents, both agreed in Belfast on Good Friday, 10 April 1998: the agreement called for the establishment of an independent commission to examine the police regime in Northern Ireland, including ways to promote broad Community support for these agreements. The UK government has also pledged to “carry out a comprehensive review” of the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. Some nationalists will continue to see an early poll as an opportunity. But many in nationalism, including the most likely future Irish governments, will continue to doubt the value of a poll in the current circumstances and the potential disorder that could result from a vote in favor. In a referendum held in June 2016, England and Wales voted to leave the European Union. However, the majority of voters in Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to keep the UK.  Of the parties in the Assembly, only the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Traditional Unionist Voice (TÜV) and the People Before Profit Alliance (PBP) were in favour of a Leave vote. .