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Snippet Contents:

I thank the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee, and the senior Minister, Deputy Simon Coveney, for the way they have been working diligently on this important issue of Brexit and the implications and problems we are all facing. We are going to face them together in a workperson-like way. I thank the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee, personally, on behalf of the committee that I chair, for the many and varying engagements that she and her hardworking officials have had with us. It is most appreciated at all times.
Sometimes it is important to call a spade a spade. I refer to the whole situation and the political way that it is being handled by the negotiators on behalf of England and its politicians. They dropped the ball when they shot us with their gun in our feet by doing what they did and leaving us with this mess. They are prevaricating now, not getting on with it and they seem completely at sea. If I was in charge of them, I would sack the whole lot of them because they are a disgrace.
I do not say those things lightly. They know the issues we have to hand. We were over there and we met with many of the senior people dealing with it. To say that I am unhappy with the way they are handling the negotiations and with their outlook and view would be an understatement. They are like a rabbit caught in the headlights and they do not know what way to turn. If it was any other country, it would be big enough to come along and say that this is such a serious thing that we do need another crack at it. It has gone way beyond that because they are too arrogant to admit they got it wrong and that the people should be given a second chance. We may forget about that because it is not going to happen.
From our point of view, nobody can criticise - I am not a spokesperson for this Government - this Government for the way it is handling the situation. If it was mishandling it, I would be the first person to say the Government was doing something wrong. Anybody, however, trying to blame the Irish Government and saying that we have not been playing our part would be totally wrong and unfair. I would not do that. We have to continue what we are doing. I wish to God, however, that it was reciprocated on the other side of the water and that they would finally wake up to the fact that they created a mess and now they have to put their shoulder to the wheel and try to sort it out.