-Independent Senators secure Taoiseach’s support for BREXIT Seanad Inquiry
Speaking at the announcement of an all-party Seanad inquiry on BREXIT, to take place in the New Year, Group Leader Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell welcomed the Taoiseach’s support for their proposal.
“As a group of Independent Senators, we have been working behind the scenes to secure the support across all parties, as well as the Taoiseach, to turn the Seanad Chamber into a BREXIT chamber of inquiry.
The House of Lords this week has shown the influence parliament can play in shaping the BREXIT discussions from a UK perspective, our aim is have the same effect, but with Ireland’s interest at heart.”
Senator Michael McDowell emphasised the constitutional implications that BREXIT may bring to these shores.
For instance, the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Constitution confer the right to Irish citizenship to people born in Northern Ireland. That means that people born in one part of the United Kingdom may be regarded as EU Citizens even though the United Kingdom as such has ceased to be part of the EU.
The notification by the UK of Article 50 before the end of March next year could have immediate impact on the Good Friday Agreement.
The Irish people amended Ireland’s constitution to allow this state to be bound by the Good Friday agreement. Depending on the extent of any changes to the Good Friday agreement, there could be constitutional issues for this state .
Senator Gerard Craughwell said there were many workers across the Irish economy who could suffer quite dramatically from the consequences of BREXIT unless necessary measures were taken.
“The Department of Finance have already calculated that almost 100,000 workers are in BREXIT exposed sectors. We hope that this all party inquiry will help assist in formulating concrete proposals for an industrial policy that will protect these jobs.
Across the education sector, there are also consequences that have not been widely considered. There is significant concern that the 10,905 Irish students currently studying in UK colleges and universities could return to Ireland, causing further funding difficulties within third level education.”