As Suzanne Breen of the Belfast Telegraph, New Decade, New Approach, says, there is not much new (here you will find a summary of the main provisions). Especially in the key issue of the Irish language, the agreement is largely a warming of what was previously agreed before the DUP disconnected in February 2018: a three-dimensional approach offers new legal protection for the Irish language, Ulster-Scots and cultural identity in general. Tonge describes the agreement as “something old, borrowed and red, white and blue,” noting the number of new commissioners he creates, their descriptions of defined bulk positions and their ambiguous enforcement powers. The functioning of the Assembly, and in particular the controversial “petition of concern”, is being reformed, albeit somewhat clear. Tonge said: “Governments are now presenting an agreement to all parties. This builds on the extensive discussion and collective work that the parties have been doing since last May following the horrific murder of Lyra McKee. Governments believe that a fair and balanced package is needed. There is no need for public patience for more processes and more discussions. It`s time for political leadership and a common commitment to make politics work for the people” Friday, the British Foreign Secretary for Northern Ireland, MP Julian Smith and Irish Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Simon Coveney TD, published New Decade, New Approach, which revamped the text of an agreement between the British and Irish governments and the five main parties in Northern Ireland – the Democratic Union Party and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the nationalist Sinn Féin party and the Social Democratic Party (SDLP) and the Unaligned Alliance (SDLP).
Governments are presenting a proposal for agreement to all parties today. This builds on the extensive discussion and collective work that the parties have been doing since last May following the horrific murder of Lyra McKee. The full contract document and the combined bills are available online here. A new bipartisan agreement, published in January 2020, paved the way for the re-establishment of the NI assembly and executive. The Agreement on the New Decade, the New Approach (NDNA) was announced on 9 January 2020 by the Irish and British governments and approved on 10 January by the main NI political parties. Appendix B of the new decade, New Approach, contains commitments from the Irish Government as part of an agreement to support enhanced cooperation, connectivity and opportunities on the island, in cooperation with the Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government, in line with the Irish Government`s ongoing commitment to the Belfast Agreement and Good Friday.