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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Bill 2017

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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Bill 2017

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Snippet Contents:

We are talking about the things we want to do with the money we are supposed to be getting for AIB, which is the people's bank because we own it now.
We have been told that the primary purpose of the Bill before the House is to facilitate Ireland's membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Quite frankly, at the moment I am more interested in the proposed national housing co-operative Bill, which is being developed by a good number of people here. If we are looking to other countries, perhaps we should borrow money from them to relieve the crippling debt that is being faced by people with mortgages on their family homes who are being brought before the courts under threat of repossession. They are being made ill and distressed. Such evictions are contributing significantly to the housing crisis. I would be more interested in signing up to a fund that would be used to help such people or to pay down the horrible debt that was forced on us by our so-called allies in Europe.
Thankfully, Article 29.5.2┬░ of the Constitution requires Oireachtas approval through legislation if an international agreement is to be ratified by Ireland. I am delighted that the Constitution places some kind of restriction on this activity. Ireland's application for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was approved in March of this year and must be ratified by 31 December 2018. We have some time. Why did we apply for membership? Our membership of the bank will give Irish exporters greater potential economic opportunities to expand their markets into the Chinese region. In addition, it will create necessary strong ties with the region. I would certainly agree with anything that supports such objectives.
I recall that the Minister, Deputy Coveney, who is soon to be either the Taoiseach or the Tánaiste, went to China some years ago to negotiate a deal in respect of Irish milk and beef exports. I remember fondly that during the Government formation talks that took place just over a year ago, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae said that the Government's announcement of everything it intended to do in China was great. There was some discussion on all the beef and milk we were going to give to China. Deputy Healy-Rae suggested that everyone involved - the Minister, the Department, everyone else who was involved, and the IFA - had forgotten that the Chinaman would not drink the milk. It was pie in the sky. It was a pipe dream. The Minister of State, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, should not be shaking his head because he was probably at the talks. That is what happened. We did not send the milk. The milk did not go.