The British government is virtually out of the game and neither parliament nor the British people have, as part of this agreement, the legal right to obstruct the achievement of Irish unity if it had the consent of the people of the North and The South… Our nation is and will remain a nation of 32 circles. Antrim and Down are and will remain a part of Ireland, just like any southern county.  The main themes addressed by Sunningdale and dealt with in the Belfast Agreement are the principle of self-determination, the recognition of the two national identities, Anglo-Irish intergovernmental cooperation and legal procedures for compulsory power-sharing, 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 agreement including the IRA and the most intransigent unionists.  With regard to the right to self-determination, two qualifications are recorded by the writer Austen Morgan. First, the transfer of territory from one state to another must be done through an international agreement between the British and Irish governments. Second, the population of Northern Ireland can no longer be alone in united Ireland; They need not only the Irish government, but also the people of their neighbouring country, Ireland, to support unity. Mr Morgan also pointed out that, unlike the Irish Act 1949 and the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, drawn up under Sunningdale, the 1998 agreement and the resulting British legislation explicitly provide for the possibility of a unified Ireland.  To resolve the conflict, British troops were sent to the area, but they clashed with republican armed groups, the largest of which was the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
5 Formal recognition of this potential, however, is not unimportant. Given the union and nationalist attitude towards Northern Ireland`s current constitutional position, it is of considerable importance. Unionist positions have always insisted that the nationalists accept Northern Ireland`s current relationship with the United Kingdom. The nationalists were either totally resistant to the British link, or they clearly accepted the British and the Unionists for a united Ireland to be created if a majority of Northern Irish decided so. Sinn Fein and the IRA defended the previous opinion, the SDLP. The latter approach was accepted by all signatories to the Good Friday Agreement. The agreement called for the creation of an independent commission to review police rules in Northern Ireland, “including ways to promote broad community support” for these agreements.