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Fascism and Constitutional ConflictThe British Extreme Right and Ulster in the Twentieth Century$
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James Loughlin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941770

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941770.001.0001

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The National Front (II)

The National Front (II)

Combating the Anglo-Irish Agreement, 1985–1990

Chapter:
(p.254) 7 The National Front (II)
Source:
Fascism and Constitutional Conflict
Author(s):

James Loughlin

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941770.003.0008

This chapter assesses the state of the National Front as it sought to contribute to the loyalist/Unionist struggle against the imposition of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA), an agreement reached between the British and Irish Governments, and which infuriated the loyalist and Unionist community as the Irish Government was given an advisory role in the governance of Northern Ireland, and worrying because it was uncertain whether and when such ‘influence’ would be instrumental or marginal. Opposition involved cooperation with loyalist paramilitaries but proved worrying when loyalist paramilitaries resorted to sectarian violence. For the NF, however, its already limited scope for action in Northern Ireland was reduced further by an internal split provoked by a new leadership cadre headed by Nick Griffin, which sought to turn the organisation into a revolutionary movement proposing the creation of an independent Ulster, and opposed by a ‘Flag’ faction which sought co-operation with Unionist and loyalist leaders. As Unionist opposition to the AIA failed and Government rejected its position that it would refuse to negotiate until the agreement was abandoned. By 1990 Unionist leaders had agreed to talks with the Government at the same time as divisions within the NF led to its collapse.

Keywords:   Griffin, Political Soldiers, Brons, Flag, Agreement, opposition, revolution, division, failure

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