This is because the Good Friday Agreement has created complex agreements between the various parties. The three areas of action of the pact have created a network of institutions to govern Northern Ireland (Strand One), bring together the heads of state and government in Northern Ireland with those of Ireland (Strand Two or North-South Cooperation) and bring together heads of state and government from across the United Kingdom and Ireland (Beach 3 or East-West). There are currently more than 140 areas in Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland, cross-border cooperation, including health services, energy infrastructure and police work. Many experts and political leaders fear that any disruption of this cooperation could undermine confidence in the agreement and hence the basis for peace in Northern Ireland. During the three debates, the peace process was not central to most Members. While the backstop received 795 mentions in the three debates we analysed, the «Good Friday Agreements» and the «Belfast Agreements» – two terms that describe the same agreement – together received only 90. This indicates that the discussion on the «backstop» was not generally related to the agreement. As most people understand, the proposed future management of customs, internal market regulation and VAT has been negotiated because the EU, THE UK and Ireland are trying to fully preserve the main features of the Good Friday Agreement. The most obvious assumption is that the joint membership of the United Kingdom and Ireland in the EU customs union and internal market would enable Ireland to become «borderless». There has been much criticism of Prime Minister Johnson`s proposed withdrawal agreement with the EU, but the most imprecise is the assertion that it «drifts» a coach and horses through the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

This assertion was made by the DUP`s parliamentary leader in Westminster, Nigel Dodds; His colleague Jeffrey Donaldson mp also argues that the draft agreement does not «adequately» reflect the CMA`s principle of approval. Since Donaldson withdrew from the Good Friday negotiations in the morning, the morning they were closed, and Dodds strongly opposed them, they may not be the most credible sources for the legal facts of this agreement. Northern Ireland`s leaders face difficult challenges in providing basic services and managing denominational divisions.