The 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA), on which the current system of decentralisation in Northern Ireland is based, is similar to that of Sunningdale.  Irish politician Séamus Mallon, who participated in the negotiations, called the agreement “Sunningdale for slow learners.” This claim has been criticized by political scientists such as Richard Wilford and Stefan Wolff. The former said that “it`s… [Sunningdale and Belfast] have considerable differences, both in terms of the content and circumstances of their negotiation, implementation and implementation.”  The Northern Ireland Assembly Bill, which came out of the White Paper, was introduced on 3 May 1973 and elections were held on 28 June for the new Assembly. The agreement was supported by the Social Democratic and Labour Nationalist Party (SDLP), the trade union UUP and the Alliance Intercommunal Party. Supporters of the deal won a clear majority of seats (52 to 26), but a significant minority in the Ulster Unionist Party rejected the deal. On 21 November, an agreement was reached on a voluntary coalition of pro-agreement parties (contrary to the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, which defines Hondt`s method for electing ministers over the main parties in the Assembly). The distinguished members of the executive were former Unionist Prime Minister Brian Faulkner as Chief Executive, Gerry Fitt, Head of the SDLP, Deputy Director General, future Nobel Laureate and Leader of the SDLP John Hume as Trade Minister and Chairman of the Oliver Napier Alliance Party as Minister of Law and Head of the Law Reform Office. The other members of the executive were the Unionist Basil McIvor as Minister of Education, Unionist Herbert Kirk as Minister of Finance, Austin Currie, SDLP member, Minister of Housing, Unionist Leslie Morrell as Minister of Agriculture, Paddy Devlin, SDLP member, Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Unionist Royist Bradford as Minister of the Environment and Unionist John Baxter as Minister of Information.  This new executive, made up of the aforementioned members, took office and had its very first meeting on 1 January 1974.  The UUP was deeply divided: its standing committee voted by 132 votes to 105 in favour of participation in the executive.
I think it is quite historic that these people have come together and reached an agreement which I believe will frankly open a new dawn not only for Northern Ireland, but also for the whole of Ireland. In March 1974, trade union supporters withdrew their support for the agreement and asked the Republic of Ireland to repeal Articles 2 and 3 of its Constitution (these articles would not be revised until after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement). Finally, it was agreed that the Council executive would be limited to `tourism, the protection of nature and aspects of animal health`, but this did not reassure the Unionists, who saw the Republic`s influence on northern affairs as a further step towards a united Ireland. They had their fears confirmed when, in a speech at Trinity College Dublin, SDLP Councillor Hugh Logue publicly described the Irish Council as “a vehicle that would plunge trade unionists into a united Ireland”.”  On 10 December, 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, who would oppose the agreement.