Former British Prime Minister John Major has argued that Brexit could lead to a hard border, with the European Union and the UK being required to control their borders for customs purposes.  The Conservative Party`s European research group group believes that the UK could have the choice of not controlling its border if VAT is not applied or of controlling the limit to apply a possible VAT on goods imported after Brexit.   The multi-party agreement required the parties to « use any influence they might have » to bring about the dismantling of all paramilitary weapons within two years of the referendums approving the agreement. The standardisation process forced the British government to reduce the number and role of its armed forces in Northern Ireland « to a level compatible with a normal peaceful society ». These include the removal of security facilities and the lifting of specific emergency powers in Northern Ireland. The Irish government has committed to a « thorough review » of its breaches of state law. The overall result of these problems was to undermine unionists` confidence in the agreement exploited by the anti-deal DUP, which eventually overtook the pro-deal Unionist Party (UUP) in the 2003 parliamentary elections. The UUP had already resigned from the power-sharing executive in 2002 following the Stormontgate scandal, which implicated three men for gathering intelligence. These charges were eventually dropped in 2005 on the controversial grounds that the persecution was not « in the public interest ». Immediately afterwards, one of the incriminated members of Sinn Féin, Denis Donaldson, was unmasked as a British agent. The agreement was reached between the British and Irish governments and eight political parties or groups in Northern Ireland.
Three were representative of unionism: the Ulster Unionist Party, which had led Unionism in Ulster since the early twentieth century, and two smaller parties linked to loyalist paramilitaries, the Progressive Unionist Party (associated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Democratic Party (the political wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA)). Two of them have generally been described as nationalists: the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin, the Republican Party associated with the Commissional Irish Republican Army.   Regardless of these rival traditions, there were two other rallying parties, the Inter-municipal Alliance Party and the Northern Ireland Women`s Coalition. . . .