Seanad debates

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


2:30 pm

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I welcome the approval of the drug Spinraza by the HSE.

I pay tribute and congratulate our colleague, Senator Grace O'Sullivan, on her election to the European Parliament. I know she will be a wonderful MEP.

Yesterday, I visited Westminster. Like the Taoiseach, I am concerned with the tone of the Conservative Party leadership race. Everywhere I went yesterday, I was asked about the backstop and whether it can be renegotiated. Every time I stated that it absolutely cannot be renegotiated and that the only deal is the one on the table. The next month will be trying for the EU, the Government and, indeed, the British people. What is happening is a charade. It is not understood that there is only one deal in town, namely, the withdrawal agreement. I am concerned - the Taoiseach said this in the Dáil only a few minutes ago - that what is happening in the UK represents a disregarding of the responsibilities of national politicians. Yesterday, I told every politician who asked me about backstop that there is no way there can be a border on the island of Ireland and that the matter is not up for negotiation.I told them that there is no way there could be a border on the island of Ireland. It was not up for negotiation. It is very concerning. All parties here are holding the line that the only agreement in town is the withdrawal agreement, which was agreed by diplomats from both countries and the EU. It is just very frustrating.


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