«It is up to the Irish people alone, by mutual agreement between the two parties and without external hindrance, of their right to self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and at the same time given, north and south, to achieve a united Ireland, while accepting that this right be acquired and exercised with the agreement and approval of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland.» In 2004, negotiations were held between the two governments, the DUP, and Sinn Féin, for an agreement to restore the institutions. The talks failed, but a document published by governments detailing the changes to the Belfast agreement was known as the «comprehensive agreement.» However, on 26 September 2005, it was announced that the Provisional Republican Army of Ireland had completely closed its arsenal of weapons and had «taken it out of service». Nevertheless, many trade unionists, especially the DUP, remained skeptical. Among the loyalist paramilitaries, only the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had decommissioned all weapons.  Further negotiations took place in October 2006 and resulted in the St Andrews Agreement. In addition to the number of signatories[Note 1], Stefan Wolff identifies the following similarities and differences between the issues dealt with in the two agreements: The agreement sets out a framework for the creation and number of institutions in three «strands». The British government is virtually out of the game and neither parliament nor the British people have, as part of this agreement, the legal right to obstruct the achievement of Irish unity if it had the consent of the people of the North and The South… Our nation is and will remain a nation of 32 circles. Antrim and Down are and will remain a part of Ireland, just like any southern county.  The agreement called for the creation of an independent commission to audit police arrangements in Northern Ireland, «including ways to promote broad community support» for these agreements. The UK government has also pledged to carry out a «large-scale review» of the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. The agreement was for Northern Ireland to be part of the United Kingdom and remain in place until a majority of the population of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland wished otherwise.
If this happens, the British and Irish governments will be «obliged» to implement this decision. The multi-party agreement required the parties to «use all the influences they might have» to obtain the dismantling of all paramilitary weapons within two years of the adoption of the agreement by referendums. The standardization process has 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 elimination of security measures and the abolition of special emergency powers in Northern Ireland. The Irish government has pledged to conduct a «thorough review» of its violations of national law. By-elections called after the resignation of the Unionists did not give voters a clear choice because of the reluctance of other parties to challenge them.