To encourage the two enemy communities of the North to cooperate, the negotiators of the agreement decided to call for the creation of an economic development fund financed by special grants from Great Britain, the European Community, Canada, Australia and, they hope, the United States. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Finance Act, President Reagan proposed and House of Representatives spokesman O`Neill is actively supporting a one-time grant of $250 million, with an effective envelope spread over five years. This money would go to a trust fund to be set up by the British and Irish governments. The British government has asked the Irish government to participate in the management of the troubled province of Northern Ireland. This is the unique invitation made in an agreement signed on 15 November 1985 by the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Ireland, Margaret Thatcher and Garret FitzGerald. If this Anglo-Irish agreement is implemented, it will be the most important development in relations between the two countries since 1922, when the South of Ireland was granted independent government status as an Irish Free State, while Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom. No one could have predicted, after the “out, out” press conference of November 1984, that if the two Prime Ministers met a year later for a summit, this would be characterized by the signing of an Anglo-Irish agreement. The events that led to the evolution of Mrs Thatcher`s thinking go back not a year, but four years. What can trade unionists do to undermine the agreement? This is the imperative question now and for the coming year.
By-elections called after the resignation of the Unionists did not give voters a clear choice because of the reluctance of other parties to challenge them. No Unionist candidate rejected another, while the SDLP and Sinn Féin ran for only the four seats, where the majority of votes for nationalist candidates had been voted on in previous elections. The SDLP has rejected an offer by Sinn Féin to enter into a nationalist electoral pact against the Unionist electoral pact.  The SDLP was given the seat of Newry and Armagh.