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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

On behalf of the Fianna Fáil group, I extend our congratulations to Theresa May on her election as leader of the Conservative Party and the second female Prime Minister of Britain. In the wake of Brexit she will face many challenges in implementing and negotiating a Brexit for the United Kingdom. I hope Ireland can continue to keep its place as one of Britain's main trading partners which we have enjoyed for many years.
Yesterday I was angered and disgusted to hear the continuing narrative across the airwaves that Ireland had engaged in leprechaun economics. The Central Statistics Office, CSO, figures published yesterday announced that Ireland had seen a massive increase of 26% in GDP. I cannot imagine that any constituent, represented by this House, has felt this increase in his or her pocket. However, if these figures are true, perhaps the Minister for Finance might stand over them. If it is the case that the figures are inflated because of technology companies' intellectual property, IP, assets and aircraft leasing companies relocating here, it is incumbent on the Minister for Finance to clarify this. If accounting methods are out of date, they must be updated to ensure they represent a true figure of our economic growth. With Brexit on the horizon and at a time when we need to be presented as capable and professional, Ireland is being laughed at by the financial world and is being made a mockery of. In the wake of Brexit, Ireland needs to fight for any upside from Brexit. We need to encourage foreign companies to come to Ireland to do business and to send a message that Ireland is a great place in which to do business and that it is open for business. Ireland needs to show that the economy is stable and that we are the right place in which to locate. Perhaps the Leader might ask the Minister for Finance to clarify the CSO figures and issue a statement on the matter.