Tuesday, July 31, 1973 The new Northern Ireland Assembly met for the first time amid scenes of protest. Tuesday, 1 January 1974 The Northern Ireland Executive, announced on 22 November 1973, officially took office. Although some powers were conferred on the Executive and the Assembly, others, including security and economic policy issues, were maintained by the BRITISH Government and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). But the path to today`s deal began in March, when Foreign Secretary William Whitelaw sought to end IRA violence. The UK government took no action after obtaining the result of the referendum, the result being in favour of the status quo (Northern Ireland remains part of the UK). This was followed by a general election on June 28, 1973, Tuesday, June 20. March 1973 A government White Paper entitled «Northern Ireland Constitutional Proposals» was published, proposing a 78-member assembly divided in a decentralised manner in Northern Ireland and a Council of Ireland. The election would be held by proportional representation (PR) and Westminster would retain powers of law and order. These proposals followed a discussion paper published on 30 October 1972 entitled «The Future of Northern Ireland». [There was an element of Unionist political opinion that opposed the idea of power-sharing and still supported majority rule as the sole basis of government. However, the idea of close ties with the Republic of Ireland by the proposed Council of Ireland was an idea that would be problematic for many unionists.] The 1973 elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly took place after the publication of the British Government`s White Paper on northern Ireland`s constitutionals, which proposed a 78-member northern Ireland assembly, elected by proportional representation.
In the February 1974 general election, 11 out of 12 constituencies in Northern Ireland were won by the United Ulster Unionist Council, a coalition of anti-Sunningdale unionists. Only Belfast in West has made an MP pro-agreement. It was eventually agreed that the Council`s executive functions would be limited to «tourism, nature conservation and animal health», but this did not reassure unionists, who saw any influence of the Republic on northern affairs as a step towards a united Ireland.
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- On 8 septiembre, 2021
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