Thursday, 11 July 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Will the Government voice those criticisms to Mike Pence when he comes here in September? Did the Taoiseach raise any of those criticisms with Donald Trump was here last month? The conditions are obscene and horrific, and they are well beyond the bounds whereby what is needed is just some constructive criticism. We need clear condemnation by the Government of the actions of Donald Trump and the US Administration. It is what we need and it is part of building international pressure. This will get worse. When we passed the motion a year ago, the conditions were not as bad and there were not as many children affected. Conditions will continue to worsen unless there is a movement for change, particularly in the United States but also elsewhere.
I agree with the Tánaiste's point that the European Union must also look at itself, as it is not a paragon of virtue. The EU outsources its dirty work and the Government agrees with that. For example, it agreed with the deal with Turkey to give that country €6 billion to have the migrant camps there rather than in the EU. The Government agrees with the externalisation of migrant policy by the EU, which means these camps are being set up in north Africa, for example. Broadly speaking, it agrees with the fortress Europe policy that has seen 10,000 migrants die in the Mediterranean since 2015. If the Tánaiste believes that Ireland should be a leader, we should shut down direct provision, as 6,000 people are in that direct provision using for-profit camps.