Did Northern Ireland ask the King to be allowed to stay in the UK?..
At 1pm on the 6th December 1922, King George V signed a proclamation establishing the new Irish Free State. This included the Oireachtas having jurisdiction to legislate for Northern Ireland, as well as the South.
The treaty, and the laws which implemented it, allowed Northern Ireland to opt out of the Irish Free State, if it chose to do so within 30 days.
The following day, Northern Ireland, using Article 12 of the Treaty, chose to exercise its opt-out by presenting an address to the King, requesting that they return to the UK, and not remain as part of the Irish Free State.
On the 7th December 1922, the Parliament of Northern Ireland sent this request to the King.
MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, We, your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Senators and Commons of Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, having learnt of the passing of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922, being the Act of Parliament for the ratification of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, do, by this humble Address, pray your Majesty that the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland.
On the 13th December 1922, the Parliament of Northern Ireland was informed that the King had responded to the Parliament’s request with:
I have received the Address presented to me by both Houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in pursuance of Article 12 of the Articles of Agreement set forth in the Schedule to the Irish Free State (Agreement) Act, 1922, and of Section 5 of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922, and I have caused my Ministers and the Irish Free State Government to be so informed.
The Oireachtas consists of the The President of Ireland and the lower and upper houses of Irish Parliament. (Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann)
In 1998, under the Belfast Agreement, the Irish and British governments agreed that the status of Northern Ireland will not change without the consent of a majority of its population.
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