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This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008) British–Irish relations       Ireland   United Kingdom British–Irish relations, or Anglo-Irish relations, refers to relationships between the Government of Ireland (including the Government of the Irish Free State) and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since Irish independence from the United Kingdom in 1922. Relations between the two states have been influenced heavily by issues arising from the independence of Ireland and the government of Northern Ireland. These include the outbreak of political violence in Northern Ireland in 1968 and a desire for and resistance to the reunification of Ireland arising from the partition of Ireland in the 1920s. As well as these issues, the high level of trade between the two states, their comparable geographic location as islands off the coast of the European mainland, a long shared history and close cultural links,[citation needed] as well as a shared land border, mean political developments in both states often closely follow each other or are tied in some way. A Common Travel Area exists between the two states and citizens of both state are accorded the same privileges in each other's jurisdiction as citizens of the other state (with minor exceptions). Two bodies, the British–Irish Council and the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, co-ordinate political discussion between the two states, devolved regions in the UK and two dependencies of the UK in the region) on matters of mutual interest. Two further trans-national bodies relate specifically to relations between the British and Irish states with respect to Northern Ireland: the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and the North/South Ministerial Council. Both states joined the European Union (then the European Communities) in 1973. Contents 1 Background 2 Relations 2.1 Post-independence 2.2 World War II 2.3 Northern Ireland 2.4 Post-1998 3 References 4 See also // Background The signatures page of the 1922 Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed showing the signatures of the British and Irish delegation. Due to their close proximity to each other, there have been relations between the people inhabiting the islands of what is now Ireland and the United Kingdom for as much as we know of their history. For instance, the Romans, who occupied the southern portion of Great Britain, maintained a trading post near the location of the modern city of Dublin.[citation needed] A Romano-Briton, Patricius, later known as Saint Patrick, Christianised Ireland and, following the fall of the Roman Empire, missionaries from Ireland re-Christianised Britain. The expansion of Gaelic culture into what became known as Scotland (after the Latin Scoti, meaning Gaels) brought close political and familial ties between people in Ireland and people in Great Britain, lasting from the early Middle Ages to the 17th century, including a common Gaelic language spoken on both islands. The Norman invasion of Ireland, subsequent to the Norman conquest of England, added political ties between Ireland and England, including a common English language spoken on both islands. Over the course of the second millennium AD, the degree of influence and control the English exercised in Ireland fluctuated over the centuries, while Irish influence in Scotland eventually collapsed. After initially covering over two thirds of the island at the end of the 12th century, the area under English control reduced rapidly during the 14th century to the Pale, an area around the city of Dublin. However, the Tudor conquest, wars and programs of colonisation of the 16th and 17th centuries brought Ireland securely under English control. However, this was at a cost of great resentment over land ownership and inequitable laws. Resulting from this, Gaelic ties between Scotland and Ireland withered dramatically over the course of the 17th century, including a divergence in the Gaelic language into two distinct languages. Secret societies, both opposing and supporting British rule through violent means, developed in the 18th century and several open rebellions were staged, most notably the 1798 Rebellion. Although Ireland gained near-independence from Great Britain in 1782, the kingdoms of Ireland and the Great Britain (which was formed from the kingdoms of England and Scotland) were merged in 1801 to form the United Kingdom. Although many were content with being a part of the United Kingdom, both violent and constitutional campaigns for autonomy or independence from Britain throughout the 19th century led to the granting of autonomy to Ireland (and the "temporary" partition of the island) in 1914. However, the outbreak of World War I delayed its implementation. During the course of the war, a rebellion in 1916 and the government response to it led to demands for full independence. An election in 1918 returned almost 70% of seats to the pro-independence party Sinn Féin. The Sinn Féin candidates returned refused to take their seats in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, set up a parliament in Dublin, and declared the independence of Ireland from the United Kingdom. A war of independence followed that ended with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922 and the establishment of the Irish Free State. Relations Post-independence Immediate issues arising from Irish independence and partition of the island were the settlement of an agreed border between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, and the amount of public debt of the United Kingdom for which the Irish Free State would assume responsibility. In response to the first of these issues a commission, the Boundary Commission, was set up involving representatives from the Government of the Irish Free State, the Government of Northern Ireland, and the Government of the United Kingdom which would chair the Commission. Disagreements over the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty led the Irish government to a view that the Boundary Commission was only intended to award areas within the six counties of Northern Ireland to the Irish Free State. The British government's view was that the border was adjustable in either direction so long as the net balance would benefit the Free State. In the mean time, three years after independence, the Irish government had not yet contributed anything to paying the public debt of the United Kingdom. The report of the Commission was leaked by the press causing embarrassment to the Irish government and spurring protests from both nationalists and unionists in Northern Ireland. Eager to avoid conflict, and with other concerns on their mind, the three parties agreed to bury the report, with the agreement that the border would change little, the Irish government would be relieved of their obligation to servicing the UK's public debt and the Council of Ireland, a mechanism agreed to in the 1922 Treaty to re-unify Ireland by 1970, was abolished. A further dispute arose in 1930 over the issue of the Irish government's refusal to reimburse the United Kingdom with "land annuities". These annuities were derived from government financed soft loans given to Irish tenant farmers before independence to allow them to buy out their farms from landlords (see Irish Land Acts). These loans were intended to redress the issue of landownership in Ireland arising from the wars of the 17th century. The refusal of the Irish government to pass on monies it collected from these loans to the British government led to a retaliatory and escalating trade war between the two states from 1932 until 1938, a period known as the Anglo-Irish Trade War or the Economic War. While the UK was less affected by the Economic War, the Irish economy was virtually crippled and the resulting capital flight reduced much of the economy to a state of barter. Unemployment was extremely high and the effects of the Great Depression compounded the difficulties. The government urged people to support the confrontation with the UK as a national hardship to be shared by every citizen. Pressures, especially from agricultural producers in Ireland and exporters in the UK, led to an agreement between the two governments in 1938 resolving the dispute. Under the terms of resulting Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement, all duties imposed during the previous five years were lifted but Ireland was still entitled to impose tariffs on British imports to protect new Irish industries. Ireland was to pay a one-off £10 million sum to the United Kingdom (as opposed to annual repayments of £250,000 over 47 more years). Arguably the most significant outcome, however, was the return of so-called "Treaty Ports", three ports in Ireland maintained by the UK as sovereign bases under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The return of these ports facilitated Irish neutrality during World War II. Ireland's sudden unilateral declaration of a republic by removing the remaining duties of the king in 1949 did not result in greatly strained relations. However, it drew a response from the UK government that meant the UK would not grant Northern Ireland to the Irish state without the consent of the Parliament of Northern Ireland. As a consequence of no longer having the king as head of state, Ireland could not remain in the British Commonwealth, although having ceased to attend meetings since 1937. World War II Northern Ireland From 1937 until 1998, the Constitution of Ireland made a territorial claim on Northern Ireland, which is internationally recognised as part of the United Kingdom. This was dropped as part of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which set in place a series of bodies. Post-1998 For a long time, many Irish people had sought some sort of recognition from the British government for the immense loss of life in Ireland during the Famine caused by the policy of the then British government in increasing Irish food exports to Britain while the population starved to death. When Tony Blair became the British prime minister, he apologised to the Irish people, in an effort to progress the British–Irish relationship to the next stage. The next stage would eventually lead to the Good Friday Agreement, bringing hopes of a lasting peace in Northern Ireland and the amelioration of British–Irish relations, with the setting up of the British–Irish Council and North/South Ministerial Council. An estimated 24% or 14 million Britons claim Irish descent.[1] Meetings of the British Prime Minister and the Irish Taoiseach are generally referred to as Anglo-Irish Summits. References ^ "One in four Britons claim Irish roots". BBC News. 16 March 2001. Retrieved 18 July 2010.  See also Anglo-Irish Irish community in Britain v • d • e Foreign relations of Ireland Africa Ethiopia · South Africa · Zambia Americas Canada · Colombia · Mexico · United States Asia PR China · India · Israel  · Pakistan  · Philippines Europe Denmark · Greece · Holy See · Kosovo  · Romania · Russia · United Kingdom Oceania Australia Related topics Department of Foreign Affairs · Diplomatic missions of / in Ireland Irish Department of Foreign Affairs v • d • e Foreign relations of the United Kingdom Africa Egypt  · Morocco  · Namibia  · Sudan  · South Africa Americas Argentina · Barbados · Canada · Mexico · United States (Special Relationship) · Uruguay Asia Middle East Bahrain  · Iran · Iraq · Israel  · Oman  · Palestine  · Saudi Arabia  · United Arab Emirates Elsewhere China · India · Indonesia  · Japan · Kazakhstan · Kyrgyzstan · Malaysia · Pakistan · Singapore · South Korea Europe Albania · Armenia · Belgium · Bulgaria · Cyprus · Czech Republic · Denmark · France · Germany · Greece · Holy See · Iceland · Ireland · Italy · Lithuania · Kosovo · Malta · Netherlands · Norway · Poland · Portugal · Romania · Russia · San Marino · Serbia · Spain · Turkey · Ukraine Oceania Australia · Nauru · New Zealand · Papua New Guinea Missions Diplomatic missions of / in the United Kingdom British Foreign & Commonwealth Office v • d • e British Isles British Isles · Terminology (Britain · Éire) · Naming dispute Politics Sovereign states and constituent countries Ireland · United Kingdom (England · Northern Ireland · Scotland · Wales) British Crown dependencies Guernsey · Jersey · Isle of Man Political cooperation British–Irish Council · British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly · Common Travel Area · North/South Ministerial Council · British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference Geography Island groups Channel Islands · Islands of the Clyde · Great Britain · Hebrides (Inner · Outer) · Ireland · Isle of Man · Isles of Scilly · Northern Isles (Orkney · Shetland) Lists of islands of Ireland · Isle of Man · United Kingdom (England · Scotland · Wales) History Current states and dependencies Ireland · United Kingdom (England · Northern Ireland · Scotland · Wales) Guernsey · Jersey · Isle of Man Former states Kingdom of England · Kingdom of Scotland · Kingdom of Ireland · Principality of Wales · Kingdom of Great Britain · United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland · Irish Free State Society Modern languages Auregnais · BSL · Cornish · English · French · Guernésiais · Irish · ISL · Jèrriais · Manx · NISL · Scots · Scottish Gaelic · Sercquiais · Shelta · Welsh People British · Cornish · English · English Gypsies · Irish · Irish Traveller · Kale · Manx · Scottish · Ulster-Scots · Welsh