The Occupied Territories Bill
Sir, – Gerry Liston, in his letter of October 9th regarding the Occupied Territories Bill, continues to flog a dead horse. Simon Coveney has repeatedly stated the Bill asks the Irish State to do something that is not within its power, as Ireland is part of a single unified EU market, and trade is an exclusive competence of the EU. The single market is something the EU takes very seriously, as we are currently witnessing in the context of Brexit.
Also, the Attorney General has confirmed the Bill would put Ireland in breach of EU law and expose Ireland to legal action by the European Commission, leading to claims for damages and potentially fines against the State, as well as legal costs.
The “multiple legal experts” Mr Liston references in support of the Bill have no solid foundation. One of those experts denied he had ever written such an opinion regarding the Occupied Territories Bill. A second was dated from 2012, long before the Bill was ever conceived. A third was based on fundamental errors of fact.
In addition, evidence we have submitted to the Oireachtas Committee scrutinising the Bill shows that US companies operating in Ireland could be exposed to massive tax penalties in the US if they had to comply with it, which could cause them to pull out of Ireland.
The Bill’s supporters appear more than happy to subject the State to huge damages, fines and legal costs, all the while undermining Ireland’s capacity to facilitate a peaceful solution to the conflict via meaningful dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. – Yours, etc,
Ireland Israel Alliance,