In March 2010, eleven years after devolution in 1999, the Parliament of the United Kingdom made an agreement to transfer powers to assemblies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Main powers devolved included agriculture, education, environment and health. The United Kingdom government still retained control of defence and national security, foreign policy, energy and immigration. There were several differences in both devolved and non-devolved powers within the three assemblies, but Northern Ireland had a unique power-sharing agreement, with power divided between Nationalists and Unionists. This is because of the political tensions within Northern Ireland, with Sinn Fein and the SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party) acting as a powerful voice for a united Ireland. Although both parties rejected partition, they were prepared to acknowledge the legitimacy of the newly devolved Northern Irish assembly (Stormont), if power was shared.
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