Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions
The Taoiseach referred earlier to the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement in their totality and the extent to which they have to function and deliver. He referred to strand two, the North-South Ministerial Council and, indeed, the cross-border bodies. These are integral to the arrangements we have across the island. As the Taoiseach knows, DUP Ministers have sought to disrupt this, in protest, they say, at the Brexit protocol. What action have the Taoiseach and the Government taken to ensure all the institutions operate successfully? When might a North-South Ministerial Council plenary be convened? Will these matters be addressed by the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, which I understand is to be held next month?
As the Taoiseach knows, despite the democratic wishes of the people and their elected representatives in majority, the North is facing a considerable realignment in terms of benefits that have been recklessly lost as a result of Brexit. In that regard, can the Taoiseach outline what progress has been made on the PEACE PLUS programme in terms of support for the North, when the draft programme will be submitted to the European Commission and when the Government expects to launch the programme to allow critical funding supports to be awarded to the North?