The agreement is expected to anger the parties to the separation of powers excluded from the talks. On 4 January 1974, four weeks after the signing of the agreement, the Ulster Unionist Council voted by 427 votes to 374 against the new Council of Ireland. This forced Faulkner to resign as head of the UUP, although he retained his position as executive chief. In signing the agreement, the Irish Government fully accepted and stated that the status of Northern Ireland could not change until the majority of the northern population wished to change that status. In the General Elections of February 1974, the United Ulster Unionist Council, a coalition of anti-Sunningdale unionists, won 11 out of 12 constituencies in Northern Ireland. Only West Belfast has returned a pro-agreement MP. The Sunningdale Agreement was an attempt to create a Northern Ireland executive and a cross-border council of Ireland. Signed on December 12, 1973 at Sunningdale Park in Sunningdale, Berkshire.  The Unionist opposition, violence and a general loyalist strike led to the failure of the agreement in May 1974. But the path to today`s agreement began in March, when Foreign Minister William Whitelaw syered to end the IRA`s violence.
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. It also opposed the 1973 Sunningdale Convention, which proposed the creation of a cross-border “Council of Ireland” to manage a limited range of economic and cultural issues in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The agreement led, in 1974, to a crippling general strike by Protestant trade unionists, which the DUP… There have been disagreements between the parties in the Assembly and the role of the Council of Ireland has not been clarified. The Government of Ireland Act 1920 provided for an Irish Council, but these provisions had never been adopted. The Unionists were furious at any “interference” by the Republic of Ireland in its newly created region. In 1973, following an agreement on the formation of an executive, an agreement was reached on the reintroduction of an Irish Council to promote cooperation with the Republic of Ireland. Between 6 and 9 December, discussions took place in the town of Sunningdale in Berkshire between British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Irish Prime Minister Liam Cosgrave and the three pro-agreement parties. In January 1974, the Ulster Unionist Party narrowly voted against further participation in the assembly and Faulkner resigned as leader to be replaced by the anti-Sunningdale Harry West. Parliamentary elections were held the following month.