Thursday, 29 April 2021
National Marine Planning Framework: Motion
There is one backbencher. That is very good.
There is no opportunity to speak. Let me look at what is happening here. I went to the consultation the Minister of State lauded in his speech. I thought it was appalling. It was an excuse for consultation. I attended it in a certain hotel on the Renmore Road in Galway. The imbalance of power was palpable. The Minister of State is asking us to rush through a framework that will set the entire agenda for the Bill that will come before us with the marine protected areas excluded, the fishermen excluded, and many other areas also excluded. We have learned nothing from Derrybrien and the landslide in Donegal. We have learned nothing from Shell to Sea, which fought every step of the way to make the system safer. As a result of the blood, sweat and tears of those campaigners, it was made safer.
I do not know why I am appealing to the Minister of State but I do not do so on a personal basis. We are trying to give courage to people outside this room and tell them their voice matters and power matters. Let us stop the Government doing this and let us have a transformative change not only in the way we do politics but, in particular, in the way we deal with nature and the natural environment. Otherwise, we are finished.