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Snippet Contents:

I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the upcoming Council meeting, which is important on several issues such as Brexit, migration and neutrality. Even if we get everything we want through the Brexit deal, we will come out worse off because of the threats Europe is posing to our neutrality. We will give away far more than we will gain if we continue on this road and if we do it in the unthinking and cavalier way that the Government is proceeding, supporting everything that is happening in Europe, not questioning anything and not allowing debate to take place here in Ireland where people could give their view on it. This is because the Government is afraid of what people's views would be and does not want to have to go back to its masters in Europe with the message that we do not want to continue on the road that Europe is proceeding along in respect of neutrality and becoming a world power. The Deputies who spoke before me were right to say we should be using our role within the EU to raise the issues and concerns about the Palestinians and migration with a strong voice instead of kowtowing, as we are, to Europe on the issues of neutrality, migration and ultimately Brexit too. The Minister of State will say that is not right but we have seen that in the recent bailouts in Greece, Portugal and Spain, Europe insisted that these countries pay back their debts during the financial crisis but did not support cuts in military spending in any of those countries because France and Germany were the countries that were sending the military materiel to Spain, Greece and Portugal. They wanted to make sure they got paid and they were promoting militarisation.
Jean-Claude Juncker has called for a Europe with a security union, with the end goal of establishing a European army. That is what we are participating in and are quite happy to go along with because the Minister of State will say that will never happen, we are not going to do that, we are participating only in what will protect our neutrality. We all know that is rubbish. We will be so far down the road that the Government will turn around and say, we are already in it so it does not matter.
We have to be proactive on immigration. It is not enough for us to wait for a country to ask for assistance; we must put ourselves forward. That is the way to counteract the right wing governments around Europe. We can create a counterbalance by putting that forward and saying people have to be treated properly and with respect because those who come to Europe are looking for respect and protection. We also have to question the policies Europe is espousing around the world that are driving the people looking for help here. If France and England had not bombed the hell out of Libya, all these immigrants would not be coming through there. We know what is happening and that Europe is the cause of the problem too. It has to deal with those issues in a proper way, ensuring that people can make a life for themselves in their own countries. That is what will help and will solve the issue once and for all.
Everybody is speaking about Brexit and my voice will not add a wild pile to the discussion. We are talking in circles because it is not in our control. The Brits are going to do what they will do and we have to react to that. Ultimately what the Europeans do is not in our control either. We are in the lucky position at the minute of thinking we are in great control and they are doing everything for us on Brexit. They are doing it for us only because it is getting at the Brits. Once the Brits do the deal with them we will be cut loose. That is how it will work. We have to play the game and see what the issues are. We will have no control over what the Brits do and that is the sad part of it. They will make the decisions on what they will do and we can only react. That is all that is left for us to do. It is useful in filling up a lot of air time here as we talk about it but we are talking in circles and talking to ourselves until we see what is happening.