British and Irish Government Discussion Paper: Strand 2 - North/South Structures, 27 January 1998
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Discussion Papers presented by the British and Irish Governments at Lancaster House, London, 27 January 1998
A paper to facilitate discussion presented by the British and Irish Governments
1. This paper has been drawn up by the two Governments at the request of the political parties engaged in the multi-party negotiations. It is intended to facilitate open and meaningful negotiations in Strand 2 by identifying what seem to be the key issues requiring decision in Strand 2.
2. The Propositions on Heads of Agreement paper offers, for discussion, the proposal that there be "a new British-Irish Agreement to replace the existing Anglo-Irish Agreement and help establish close co-operation and enhance relationships embracing (inter alia):
4. Both Governments of course accept that each of the parties may wish to contribute other ideas to the discussion and would welcome such contributions. The final outcome depends on what can be agreed among the participants.
5. In their joint statement on January 12th, the Governments acknowledged that "the pro positions need to be elucidated in detailed discussion before parties can accept the overall impact of the proposals. We hope that a discussion of the possible propositions will help participants collectively to generate a broad understanding of the key elements of a settlement and of balances which need to be struck between those elements, and thus make it easier to engage in tough, detailed negotiation on specific aspects of it. What we ask is that we now proceed to the detail and all parties make their judgement then".
6. In that spirit, the two Governments have listed below a series of matters for consideration aimed at stimulating systematic, detailed debate on what appear to be the principal issues to be agreed in relation to the establishment of North/South institutions. The Governments suggest that participants consider allocating blocks of time over the remaining period at Lancaster House to the discussion of each main issue identified in this paper, bearing in mind the two Governments' intention to convene a Strand 3 liaison meeting to consider wider relationships.
a) What broad purpose or purposes should formal North/South structures serve?
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