On 21 November, an agreement was reached on a voluntary coalition of pro-agreement parties (contrary to the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, which establishes the d`Hondt method for the election of ministers in proportion to the main parties in the assembly). Prominent members of the executive included former Unionist Prime Minister Brian Faulkner as executive director, SDLP chairman Gerry Fitt as deputy executive director, future Nobel laureate and SDLP leader John Hume as trade minister, and Alliance Party chairman Oliver Napier as legal secretary and head of the Law Reform Bureau. The other members of the executive were unionist Basil McIvor as Minister of Education, Unionist Herbert Kirk as Minister of Finance, Austin Currie, member of the SDLP as Minister of Housing, Unionist Leslie Morrell as Minister of Agriculture, Paddy Devlin, member of the SDLP, as Minister of Health and Social Services, trade unionist Roy Bradford as Environment Minister and Unionist John Baxter as Information Minister.  This new executive, composed of the above-mentioned members, took office and held its very first meeting on January 1, 1974.  The UUP was deeply divided: its Standing Committee voted by a majority of 132 votes to 105 to participate in the executive. By formalising intergovernmental cooperation, the 1985 agreement changed the nature of the debate from endogenous to exogenous. From now on, the dialogue will take place between the two governments of Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland and not between the belligerents of Northern Ireland. The failure of trade unionism to destroy the agreement led to a period of internal exile that was not properly addressed until the 1990s, but in a British-Irish context. Essentially, this meant that there were two parts to the peace process – one between the constitutional parties in Northern Ireland and the second between the British and Irish governments. (Another component – the North-South dialogue in Ireland – was added later.) Finally, the first strand was reinforced by the inclusion of SF and the smaller loyalist parties, the Ulster Democratic Unionist Party (UDP) and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) – parties close to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Their accession became possible after the British and Irish prime ministers introduced the Downing Street Declaration in December 1993, which led directly to a ceasefire between Republicans and Loyalists in October 1994. The declaration provided an opportunity for “democratically mandated parties that engage exclusively in peaceful methods and have shown that they adhere to the democratic process” to negotiate the political future, and referred (ambiguously) to the “right to self-determination” of the Irish people. On Monday 8 April 1974, Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, meets representatives of the Ulster Workers` Council (UWC).
The meeting did not reach an agreement. [At that time, the UWC was not seen as a serious threat to the future of executive power, mainly because of the failure of previous interruptions by the Loyalist Workers` Association (LAW) and because of the apparently low level of support during protests against the Sunningdale agreement.] In March 1974, pro-agreement trade unionists withdrew their support for the agreement, calling on the Republic of Ireland to first delete Articles 2 and 3 of its Constitution (these articles would only be revised after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement). Sunday, December 9, 1973 A communiqué was issued announcing that an agreement had been reached at the Sunningdale talks; this communiqué should be known as the Sunningdale Agreement. There is a tendency to see a link between the Sunningdale Regulation of December 1973 and the Belfast Agreement of April 1998. In fact, one of the clichés is that the latter was simply “Sunningdale for slow learners”. This implies that there were not many more offers in 1998 than in 1974, and that the interim period was a period of loss of years and loss of life. Sentiment has a certain superficial appeal, but misses the crucial point that content and context need to be examined: peace agreements are only one part of a peace process. And this begs the question: who were the slow learners? In January 1974, the Ulster Unionist Party narrowly voted against a new participation in the assembly and Faulkner resigned as president to be replaced by the anti-Sunningdale Harry West. Parliamentary elections were held the following month. The Ulster Unionists formed the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) as a coalition of anti-agreement trade unionists with the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party to field a single anti-Sunningdale candidate in each constituency.
The pro-Sunningdale parties, the SDLP, the Alliance, the Northern Ireland Labour Party and the pro-Assembly Unionists, made up of Faulkner`s supporters, were divided and opposed. By the time the results were announced, the UUUC had won eleven of the twelve constituencies, several of which had been won by split votes. Only West Belfast brought back a pro-Sunningdale MP (Gerry Fitt). The UUUC said this constituted a democratic rejection of the Sunningdale Assembly and Executive and tried to bring it down by any means possible. It was eventually agreed that the Council`s executive functions would be limited to “aspects related to tourism, nature conservation and animal health”, but this did not reassure unionists, who saw any influence of the Republic on northern affairs as another step towards a united Ireland. They saw their fears confirmed when SDLP councillor Hugh Logue publicly described the Council of Ireland in a speech at Trinity College Dublin as “the vehicle that would lead trade unionists into a united Ireland”.  On December 10, the day after the agreement was announced, loyalist paramilitaries formed the Ulster Army Council – a coalition of loyalist paramilitary groups, including the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force, that would oppose the agreement. By signing the agreement, the Irish Government fully accepted and stated that there could be no change in the status of Northern Ireland until a majority of the population of Northern Ireland wanted to change that status. .
Heath, which led to the Sunningdale Agreement. This agreement recognised that Northern Ireland`s relations with Great Britain could not be changed without the consent of a majority of its people, and it provided for the creation of a Council of Ireland composed of members of the Dáil (the House of Commons). After heated debates, the Unionist representatives finally agreed to form an Irish council. The negotiating parties signed the final agreement on 9 December. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA), on which Northern Ireland`s current system of decentralisation is based, is very similar to the Sunningdale Agreement.  Irish politician Séamus Mallon, who participated in the negotiations, described the deal as “Sunningdale for slow learners.” This claim has been criticized by political scientists such as Richard Wilford and Stefan Wolff. The former noted that “there are significant differences between them [Sunningdale and Belfast], both in terms of the content and circumstances of their negotiation, implementation and operation”.  Provisions relating to a Council of Ireland existed in the Government of Ireland Act 1920, but they had never been enacted. Unionists did not like the idea of the Republic of Ireland “interfering” in its newly formed region.
In 1973, after an agreement had been reached on the formation of an executive, the re-establishment of an Irish Council was sought to stimulate cooperation with the Republic of Ireland. Zwischen dem 6. und 9. In December, talks were held in the Berkshire city of Sunningdale between British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Irish Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and the three pro-deal parties. On 4 January 1974, four weeks after the signing of the Agreement, the Ulster Unionist Council votes by 427 votes to 374 against the new Council of Ireland. This forced Faulkner to resign as head of the UUP, although he retained his position as general manager. The Sunningdale Agreement was an attempt to establish a Northern Ireland executive with shared power and a cross-border council of Ireland. The agreement was signed on 9 December 1973 at Sunningdale Park in Sunningdale, Berkshire.  Unionist opposition, violence and a loyalist general strike caused the collapse of the agreement in May 1974. The Northern Ireland Assembly Bill, resulting from the White Paper, was adopted on 3 March. May 1973 and elections for the new Assembly were held on 28 June.
The agreement was supported by the nationalist Social Democratic and Workers` Party (SDLP), the Unionist UUP and the Inter-Community Alliance Party. The pro-deal parties won a clear majority of seats (52 to 26), but a significant minority in the Ulster Unionist Party opposed the deal. The Belfast Agreement was much broader than Sunningdale and, above all, it introduced the prospect of a complete cessation of violence, a perspective that Sunningdale did not offer. It was based on the doctrines of consent (Irish unity was conceivable only in a peaceful context) and sufficient consensus (inter-community cooperation). .