(Belfast) British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reiterated his call on Wednesday for the resumption of Northern Irish institutions, increasing pressure on Unionists who have been boycotting them for a year, on the 25th anniversary of peace in the British province.

“I call on you to work to put Stormont”, the seat of local institutions, “in working order”, he said in Belfast at a conference for the anniversary of the peace agreement.

“I am convinced that this is the right thing to do” for the union of the four nations of the United Kingdom, he insisted. “We believe passionately that Northern Ireland is stronger within the UK and the UK is stronger with Northern Ireland,” he insisted, addressing Unionists in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Seeing in the post-Brexit provisions a threat to the place of the British province within the United Kingdom, the DUP has so far not been convinced by the progress made by London with Brussels after months of negotiations.

The DUP has been boycotting local institutions in Northern Ireland for more than a year to protest the consequences of Brexit in the province, preventing the formation of a government with shared powers between Republicans and Unionists, as provided for in the agreement of Good Friday.

At a conference at Queen’s University in Belfast for the 25th anniversary of the agreement, calls grew to convince the DUP Unionists to end the political deadlock, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, to former US President Bill Clinton.

Negotiated with active American participation, the peace agreement signed on April 10, 1998 put an end to three decades of deadly clashes between Unionists, mainly Protestants, and Republicans, mainly Catholics, with the involvement of the British army (3,500 dead).

Current US President Joe Biden, who was in Belfast last Wednesday for the anniversary of the agreement, also called on local political forces to overcome their divisions. But the unionists opposed him an end of inadmissibility, accusing him of partiality.