Tom Elliott , former Ulster Unionist Party MP, MLA and party leader.
Voted No.

If a week is a long time in politics, then certainly 20 years should give you a good indication of delivery within society.
People still talk about the difficult days in the run-up to and the aftermath of the decision to endorse the Belfast Agreement. I vividly recall those days. However I also intensely remember the years prior to 1998, the almost daily murders within our community; colleagues and friends shot or blown up by terrorists, visiting the homes of some of these people and speaking to the young mothers with three or four children who had just been widowed due to a decision taken by terrorists to cruelly end the life of an innocent family member, claiming they were doing so in the name of the Irish people. These events will live with me forever.
When, in 1997 the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) deliberated and decided to enter talks on the future of Northern Ireland I was fully supportive of that decision. I believed that Unionists were better making every reasonable effort to develop the conditions that would bring the Country and its people to a better place. When the final agreement was presented I assessed it from every aspect and there were many positives: the potential of Northern Ireland once again having its own government and the prospect that it would bring economically and socially. And of course there was the realisation of what Unionists had been demanding for decades in the removal of the Irish State’s Articles 2 & 3, which was the hostile claim on Northern Ireland.
The UUP secured the Principle of Consent which means that Northern Ireland remains an integral part of the United Kingdom unless its people decide otherwise.
There were also negatives including the establishment of the North South Ministerial Council. Although I didn’t see that as a major obstacle as it could only function when the NI Assembly was operational. There was also a lot of hurt and pain involved in the review of policing with the potential of reforming the RUC, whose members had given so much to society. However I could probably have lived with all of this as part of the overall package with all sides giving something and achieving something.
The aspect that tipped the balance and persuaded me not to vote in favour of the agreement was that prisoners who were terrorists - many of them had been convicted of some terrible atrocities - were going to be released without anything being delivered from the terrorists in the deal.
The question for everyone now is: has the agreement delivered for society?
I am in no doubt that the terrorists were so well infiltrated by the security forces in the 1990s that their capability was significantly nullified. Nonetheless they retained the capacity to murder on a regular basis. 
And there is no question that we live in a more peaceful and settled community than we did for the three decades prior to 1998. 
The witnessing of the release of terrorist prisoners and lack of reciprocal actions by terrorists, such as decommissioning of guns and bombs had a hugely negative impact on the Unionist community and innocent victims.
Ultimately the Agreement was undermined by the deal reached between the DUP and Sinn Féin at St Andrews where the election of the First and Deputy First Minister was changed. It has led to the toxic political environment which we see today. It ran a coach and horses through the idea of building mutual trust and respect.
Northern Ireland is now at a stage where we should be reaping the benefits from the 1998 agreement. 
Sadly though Sinn Féin are able to hold the government institutions and the community to ransom. 
They decide, as they please when they will or will not work the institutions, which is not good for all of us moving forward! 
The one group that has received the worst deal from the past 20 years is the innocent victims – we must never forget their suffering and must support them.