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Snippet Contents:

The European Council will have an important discussion on Brexit, and I echo the statements made by Teachtaí McDonald and Cullinane. However, Brexit will not be the only issue discussed. Migration and defence matters are also on the agenda and I will focus on the issue of migration. We have witnessed a worrying increase in racist and fascist sentiments in Europe regarding migrants and refugees. It was interesting that most Opposition speakers have commented on this in the debate. The world is facing an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises with wars, hunger and oppression devastating many parts of the globe. The unequal economic model that many European countries enforce on the global south has created corruption, poverty, inequality and environmental disasters, as have their military interventions and arms sales to despotic dictators.
World refugee day was 20 June, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the total number of refugees worldwide is now 68.5 million. No one becomes a refugee by choice but the rest of us have a choice about how we help people who have been forced to do just that. Europe likes to pride itself on its human rights, but the EU is currently pushing back vulnerable refugees looking for sanctuary. It is wrong on so many levels and a gross violation of human rights.
The new government in Italy, which includes the far right, is refusing to let ships full of refugees dock and has stated it intends to carry out a census of the Roma population in Italy. Have we learned nothing from the Holocaust 70 years ago, when Roma, Jews, other minorities and trade unionists were systematically cut off, separated, dehumanised and subject to genocide?
The EU has made a deal with the oppressive regime in Turkey to ensure the authorities keep vulnerable refugees in the country, where many of their human rights will, undoubtedly, be violated. It is also supporting the Libyan coastguard, which is another theme mentioned by all speakers. It is basically an armed militia that pushes boats of vulnerable refugees back to Libya, where they will be robbed and detained in overcrowded jails run by armed militia.