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 Header Item Taxation Order: Motion
 Header Item Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017: Motion
 Header Item Broadcasting Act 2009 (Designation of Major Events) Order 2017: Motion
 Header Item Estimates for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission: Motion
 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2017: Referral to Select Committee
 Header Item Thirteenth Report of Committee of Selection: Motion
 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions
 Header Item Cabinet Committees

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 960 No. 4

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Taxation Order: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the following Order in draft:

Exchange of Information Relating to Tax Matters (Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China) Order 2017,

a copy of which was laid before Dáil Éireann on 19th September, 2017.”

Question put.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher In accordance with Standing Order 70(2), the division is postponed until the weekly division time on Thursday, 19 October 2017.

Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the following Order in draft:
Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2017,
copies of which have been laid in draft form before Dáil Éireann on 22nd August, 2017.

  Question put and agreed to.

Broadcasting Act 2009 (Designation of Major Events) Order 2017: Motion

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the following draft Order:
Broadcasting Act 2009 (Designation of Major Events) Order 2017,
copies of which were laid before Dáil Éireann on 22nd June, 2017.

  Question put and agreed to.

Estimates for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission: Motion

Deputy Martin Heydon: Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon I move:

That Dáil Éireann take note of the Statement of Estimates of moneys required in respect of ongoing expenditure for the period beginning on 1st January, 2018 and ending on 31st December, 2018, prepared and published by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission in accordance with section 13 of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003 as amended by section 8 of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2006, section 9 of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2009, section 2 of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Appointments to Certain Offices) Act 2015 and section 5 of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2015, which was laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas on 4th October, 2017.

  Question put and agreed to.

Estimates for Public Services 2017: Referral to Select Committee

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten I move:

That, notwithstanding Standing Order 182(1) or (2) of the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann relative to Public Business and the Resolutions of the Dáil of 15th December, 2016, and 30th May, 2017, the following Further Revised Estimates for the Public Services for the year ending 31st December, 2017, be presented to the Dáil and circulated to members on 17th October, 2017, being a date later than that prescribed for the presentation of Estimates, and that the Further Revised Estimates be referred to Select Committees, as appropriate, pursuant to Standing Orders 84A(3)(c) and 182(3).
Vote 24 — Justice and Equality (Further Revised Estimate).

Vote 32 — Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Further Revised Estimate).

Vote 33 — Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Further Revised Estimate).

Vote 34 — Housing, Planning and Local Government (Further Revised Estimate).

Vote 37 — Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Further Revised Estimate).

Vote 42 — Rural and Community Development (Further Revised Estimate).

  Question put and agreed to.

Thirteenth Report of Committee of Selection: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Joe McHugh): Information on Joe McHugh Zoom on Joe McHugh I move:

That Dáil Éireann approves the Thirteenth Report of the Standing Committee of Selection in accordance with Standing Order 27F, copies of which were laid before Dáil Éireann on 12th October, 2017, and discharges a member and appoints a member to a Committee accordingly.

  Question put and agreed to.

Ceisteanna - Questions

Cabinet Committees

 1. Deputy Michael Moynihan Information on Michael Moynihan Zoom on Michael Moynihan asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will report on the newly formed Cabinet committees.  [40543/17]

 2. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will report on the reorganisation of the Cabinet committee system.  [41637/17]

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.

  I have reorganised the Cabinet committee structure to streamline political oversight and to focus the work through a smaller number of Cabinet sub-committees which are convened as necessary.

  The Government has established the following six Cabinet committees, all of which I chair:

  Cabinet committee A, dealing with the economy; Cabinet committee B, dealing with social policy and public services; Cabinet committee C, on the European Union including Brexit; Cabinet committee D, dealing with infrastructure; Cabinet committee E, dealing with health, and Cabinet committee F, dealing with national security.

  To date each Cabinet committee has met once.

  Under this new structure some committees now have broader terms of reference than before and this is reflected in their membership.

  Committees may on occasion meet in different formations depending on the agenda, with additional members being invited to attend as necessary.

  There is no change in the practice of substantive issues being referred to Government for approval and a report on the work of each Cabinet committee will continue to be submitted to Government annually.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Its is established practice for the Cabinet committee on the European Union and Brexit to meet the week before a European summit to agree on key changes of Government policy. On a number of occasions in the last two weeks, the Taoiseach has said that the Government is not contemplating or preparing for anything other than a close customs union between the United Kingdom and the European Union. In one of the scripted off-the-cuff replies which the Taoiseach supposedly hates so much, the Taoiseach said that the call for this contingency planning was tantamount to calling for border dogs to be trained. That was an intemperate response last Wednesday. Yet, in Derry on Friday night, the Taoiseach said something completely different. On that occasion he said that we were planning for different contingencies and "we will seek a unique solution for Northern Ireland". Will he explain why he said one thing in the House last week and then something completely different in Derry? Will he confirm that he is preparing proposals for a situation where the United Kingdom does not have barrier-free access to the European Union?

The Taoiseach has repeatedly spoken of his being open to full briefings for pro-European parties regarding the Brexit talks. We have sought such briefings but from what the Taoiseach said in Derry, it is becoming clear that there is nothing open or candid about these briefings. Is it the position that the Taoiseach has given instructions that certain matters are not to be admitted in briefings if they are not in tandem with what he says in public?

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald: Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald On the Cabinet sub-committees, does the Taoiseach believe it is wise or appropriate for Brexit to be put alongside European issues? I understood that international affairs also featured in that sub-committee. Will the Taoiseach clarify this point?

Brexit issues require a singular focus and effort. When we last spoke on these on 3 October, the Taoiseach told us that the previous sub-committee meeting had taken place on 11 September, that is some three and a half weeks earlier. The idea that any sub-committee that engaged in a serious piece of work, and especially Brexit, would meet almost monthly is ludicrous and irresponsible.

I disagree with how Deputy Mícheál Martin has dealt with the threat of a border on the island of Ireland. The Taoiseach is correct to hold firm on the line and the understanding that there can be, and will be, no border on the island. The efforts to secure what Sinn Féin has described as special designated status - it does not matter what it is called, it only matters what it does - in order to ensure that Ireland in its totality remains within the Single Market and the customs union is what is important. I do not believe that it is beneficial or appropriate to debate what the electronic border might look like.


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