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Reading Comprehension – Political Climate

“The current political climate in the United Kingdom is very much of devolution to regional governments, whether it is in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or even in England. The process of devolution in Northern Ireland has emerged from a very delicate situation and the Good Friday Agreement would appear to be one last, desperate attempt to solve or at least relieve the terrible situation. The Good Friday Agreement has come to signify a glimmer of hope for Northern Ireland.

To fully understand the implications of the Good Friday Agreement, one must realize the nature of the Northern Irish problem. Northern Ireland has been a bi-confessional society for a very long time and therefore political beliefs are aligned along religious and ethno-nationalist grounds. Unfortunately, socio-economics has very little to do with affiliations. It has previously been the reluctance of these two confessions to compromise their visions, that has led to the failure of previous attempts at regional government and it is the presence of compromise and accommodation that makes the Good Friday Agreement such a strong document.” Source:

The information in the passage answers which one of the following questions?

A. What weaknesses could affect the potential success of the Good Friday Agreement?
B. At what time did Northern Ireland become a bi-confessional society?
C. What is a factor that has contributed to the breakdown of previous attempts at regional government?
D. What is the primary factor for the current political climate in the United Kingdom?
E. What is the main difference in government between Scotland and Northern Ireland?


CORRECT ANSWER = (C) – In the last sentence of the passage it states that “reluctance to compromise” has led to the failure of previous attempts at regional government.

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