Why the UUP signed the Good Friday Agreement

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  • Why did UUP sign up to GFA?
    • Believed it would strengthen the Union between GB and NI and provide a stable government for NI
    • Partnership Government
      • would govern in interests of ALL the people of NI
      • Could make Union more attractive to nationalist minority
      • Refusing to share power would deepen minority's feeling of alienation
    • Acceptance of PSNI would help political stability
      • UUP accepting new police service which would be endorsed and joined by nationalist community would help political relations
      • Recognised that if RUC was not reformed Nationalists would not accept or join it
    • Acceptance of Human Rights and Equality Agenda would strengthen Union
      • Agenda highlighted in the GFA would address Nationalists sense of alienation
      • Nationalists felt discriminated against by Unionist majority
    • IRA pledged to decommiss-ion weapons as part of GFA
      • considered to be the main 'physical threat' to NI
      • IRA decommisioned all weapons between 1998 and 2005
        • Trimble credits this to the signing of the GFA
      • UUP then accepted under the terms of the GFA the release of Republican prisoners
        • Encouraged Republicans to take part in parliamentary politics
    • Rejecting the GFA would encourage Blair Govt to impose 'Joint Stewardship' on NI
      • To be governed jointly by London and Dublin
      • By signing GFA, NI would be more secure within the Union and bring about political stability


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