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Snippet Contents:

The migration crisis. The asylum process is clearly broken in Ireland and other European countries. There is a problem in Italy, for example, around the system there. There is a handful of people coming from Greece but there are clearly problems there. I, and other Members, meet people every day who are asking about what Ireland is doing with regard to the crisis. We would like to know of, and have some sort of sense of, the difficulties and problems there are, and how we propose to fix them. Other speakers today referenced the meeting we had about Calais and the fact that it is burning and the serious concerns we had about that. One of the questions was whether the Government would agree to relocate unaccompanied children from that site. Is the Minister of State in a position to address that issue or can he come back to us on it? There will be an all-party motion hopefully coming to the House and we can get some sort of an agreement on that.
I am concerned about the African and Asian states with which the EU is negotiating new bilateral agreements on migration. With which countries are these agreements being discussed? Are some of these areas war zones - it was suggested that Sudan was one of the areas - or are they countries with disgraceful human rights records where minorities and those who are gay or lesbian face discrimination? Are they countries from where many people are fleeing religious persecution? Could the Minister of State outline which countries these bilateral agreements are with? Reference was made to Afghanistan and the 80,000 Afghani nationals being sent back there. Can the Minister of State confirm if Afghanistan is one of the countries being looked at?
The European Commission has launched proposals for a common corporate tax base and a common consolidated corporate tax base. The context is the renewed push across Europe by people who are concerned about tax avoidance. I believe there are genuine, well-founded concerns around that. Many of us have serious concerns about the impact of the proposal on Ireland's right to set its own tax rate. While the ability to set our own tax rate will not be affected by this proposal the rules of calculation, deductions and exemptions will infringe on the rights of EU member states to set policies. What are the Government's views on these recent proposals?