Seanad to hold major Brexit debate in the autumn

Senator Ned O’Sullivan says slow UK withdrawal from EU not on

Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan said he sympathised with the British people on the dilemma in which they found themselves

Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan said he sympathised with the British people on the dilemma in which they found themselves

 

The Seanad is to hold a major debate on the implications of Brexit in the autumn.

Fine Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell said there was need for “a comprehensive debate’’ over a number of days on the impact it would have on EU membership and the island of Ireland.

He said Taoiseach Enda Kenny, relevant Ministers, as well as representatives from the North should be invited to participate. “The Brexit debate is a huge issue.’’

He said Brexit had dimensions for the entire island, adding they were talking about inclusiveness.

Party colleague Paddy Burke said the House could play an important role regarding Brexit. “We can do things here they cannot do in committees, or in the other House for that matter.’’

He said Mr O’Donnell’s proposal might require a change in Standing Orders, but it was a very good idea to set aside a number of days so people from various quarters could attend the House and answer questions on the issue.

“Brexit has a long way to go, in my view, and what has been proposed by Senator O’Donnell could be very beneficial.’’

Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan said he sympathised with the British people on the dilemma in which they found themselves.

“It seems to me the British are planning a very slow Brexit. I do not think that is on.’’

Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan said other EU states must listen to Ireland’s sensitivities regarding Northern Ireland, the free travel area and the common ties with the UK. “I suggest we should get much closer to countries like France because they will be our allies in the EU.’’