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Order of Business

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Senator Jerry Buttimer

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I thank the 19 Senators who contributed on the Order of Business.
I join Senator Ardagh in stressing the importance of the talks taking place today and tomorrow at European level. The summit is very important for us as a nation. As we all know, significant progress has been made in the Brexit negotiations but the meetings over the next two days are pivotal in terms of deciding whether sufficient progress has been made to allow us to move on to the next phase. It is important that we consider the future shape of Europe and that we recognise that as a nation we have a fundamental role to play in shaping the future of the EU. Equally, as the Government has stated, this is about ensuring that the island of Ireland is represented at the table and we must acknowledge the work done by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Coveney, the Taoiseach and the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy McEntee in that regard. At its meeting on Tuesday last the Committee on Procedure and Privileges recommended that Seanad Éireann continue with the work of the Seanad Special Select Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. In that context, I am very happy to arrange for further work on Brexit to take place in this Chamber in the new year. It is important that we all play a role in terms of wearing the green jersey.
Senator Ó Céidigh raised the issue of public sector pay, particularly for teachers and health care professionals. The Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Bruton, with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe, has begun the process of pay restoration for teachers.