Dáil debates

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Post-European Council Meeting: Statements


4:25 pm

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent) | Oireachtas source

The European project has failed Ireland and it is failing Ireland, from the fiasco at the summit last year, where we provided a substantial net contribution and were the second-lowest beneficiaries in the whole EU. There are affected individuals in Clonmel and in Tipperary, at South East Car Sales, McCarthy Motors and Eurocar Logistics, and a Deputy from Longford spoke about the problems that car importers are having. There is a stupid regulation whereby cars made in a European country, were imported into England while it was in the EU and now, because it has left in the aftermath of Brexit, we cannot get the Revenue Commissioners to understand simple dates and times in respect of those vehicles. Revenue is onerously penalising people. This is having a significant effect on those owners and garages and, by extension, customers who want to buy cars because Revenue is charging penal rates and an excess of duty in respect of these vehicles. This should be done when the vehicle registration tax is being paid. It is just making work.

I have to question our officials who are dealing with Europe and the Ministers. Deputy Michael Collins referred earlier today to how the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy McConalogue, might as well stay at home and not attend summits because he did not open his mouth and let our fishing be wiped out. Now we are here with the vaccines. We are a joking. England has administered 36 million vaccines and we are here looking for crumbs from the table of Europe. Phil Hogan lost his job because he went to a golf game. I want the European Commissioner in charge of health to be sacked because he has not delivered. Is there any accountability? We are the nice boys in Europe all the time, being told to jump and asking how high. We love the project. Europe is fleecing us now and is not delivering for us in any shape or form. The contract that was signed with AstraZeneca by EU officials is bizarre. A three- or four-year-old child would not sign it. Now we have the consequences. The one signed the day before by the British was clever and shrewd. It has delivered and will continue to deliver.

The roll-out and the support we are getting here is pathetic. Social issues will arise and debt will be forced upon us again as it was previously by the EU with the bail-out, which I called a clean-out. We have no heads in Europe any more. I want heads to roll if there is to be any accountability. Does the Minister of State think the people are monkeys? Tomorrow is 1 April but the Minister of State might want to wake up and smell the coffee. Every day is April Fools' Day for him, with the European project making a clown of him.


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