Implications of Brexit for Irish Ports: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Robert Troy on Wednesday, 11 July 2018:
That Dáil Éireann:
recognises that:
— there are huge gaps in Ireland's transport infrastructure, particularly in the west and north west, which are actively harming Ireland's economic growth and development, as well as reducing citizens' quality of life;
— economic growth is not spread equally across the country, and sound transport infrastructure is particularly important to economic growth in regional areas;
— maintaining strong, modern, and competitive transport links with the rest of the European Union (EU) is vital to securing Ireland's economic future and ensuring that Ireland's strong social and political links with our European counterparts are maintained;
— the decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the EU will impede Ireland's ability to use the UK land bridge to access continental Europe, thus closing off a route that two thirds of Irish exporters use to reach continental Europe and creating a need for alternative export and import facilities in Ireland;
— this Government and the last have failed to invest in Ireland's ports, such that it is difficult for them to take advantage of new opportunities;
— the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) provides considerable funding opportunities for countries to improve their connectivity with the rest of Europe;
— the previous Fine Gael-led Government chose to exclude key infrastructural projects in their submission to the TEN-T Network, thus preventing these projects from receiving TEN-T funding and harming their chances of accessing alternative private financing too; and
— the majority of the projects removed by the previous Fine Gael-led Government are located in the west of the country, an area which is in considerable need of economic and infrastructural development;
notes that:
— while the next review of the TEN-T Network is due to take place in 2023, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Ms. Violeta Bulc, has stated at a meeting with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport that 'extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary actions';
— the European Commission reiterated in 2015 that member states retained 'substantial sovereign rights' to decide on projects; and
— there is a commitment in the Programme for Government that 'in the first three months the new Government will apply to the European Union for the revision of the TEN-T Core Network, including applying for the reinstatement of the cross-border Western Arc'; and
calls on the Government to:
— instigate a full review of the TEN-T programme at European level well in advance of 2023, in recognition of the challenging circumstances facing Ireland and the weaknesses in our existent TEN-T programme;
— conduct a detailed and comprehensive review of potential projects to be included in the revised TEN-T programme, taking into account the regional imbalances that currently exist within the programme and the varied objectives that Ireland will need its transport infrastructure to meet;
— ensure the timely delivery of Ireland's existent capital plan, Project Ireland 2040; and
— present a report to Dáil Éireann within the next 6 months outlining the actions that the Government has taken to bring about a review at European level, detailing the projects that they will be putting forth for consideration, and allow for a full debate on these issues.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 2:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
"notes that:
— the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Core Network consists of those parts of the comprehensive network which are of the highest strategic importance for
achieving the objectives of the TEN-T policy, and shall reflect evolving traffic demand and the need for multimodal transport;
— by seeking to include projects on the TEN-T Core Network, European Union (EU) Member States were committing to completing those projects by 2030;
— inclusion of a project on the TEN-T Core Network does not give rise to any automatic entitlement to funding, rather that funding decisions are on a competitive basis against projects from all across the EU; and
— the maximum level of funding possible under TEN-T for works on a domestic road or rail project on the Core Network is 30 per cent;
recalls that:
— in 2011 when the TEN-T negotiations were at their height, the State recorded a deficit of €21 billion and it would not have been realistic to commit to major new
investments in road and rail networks; and
— the biggest transport project in this State since 2011 was the Gort-Tuam motorway which opened last year, and this project was prioritised and delivered at the height of the economic crisis; and
recognises:
— that Project Ireland 2040 acknowledged that transport links between the north-west and other parts of the country have been comparatively neglected until recently and therefore prioritises transport links to and from the area, including projects such as the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin, the N5 Westport to Turlough, the N5 Ballaghaderren to Scramogue, the A5 road development and the Galway City Ring Road among others;
— the progress being made across the whole of Government in preparing for Brexit and the potential impacts on the United Kingdom (UK) land bridge;
— that the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) is undertaking a study into the use of the UK land bridge by Irish importers and exporters including the likely
consequences that Brexit will have on land bridge usage and the various alternative options that may be viable, and that this report is due to be completed shortly;
— the intention of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to make a submission to the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport seeking a review of the
TEN-T Network, taking account of the impact of Brexit and the investments being made under Project Ireland 2040, particularly those in the north-west, in line with the
Programme for Government commitment;
— that the Irish port companies are commercial entities, and that it is long-established Government policy that they are not subvented by the State; and
— that the supportive policy framework in place at a national and European level is facilitating historically high levels of capital investment being made in our ports'
infrastructure, with more than €300 million of infrastructure capacity development currently taking place."
- (Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport).

I must deal with a postponed division on amendment No. 2, in the name of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, to the motion on the implications of Brexit for Irish ports. Yesterday, on the question, "That the amendment be made," a division was claimed. In accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 46; Níl, 82; Staon, 2.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.

Staon

  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 1:

To delete all words after “calls on the Government to” and substitute the following:

“— commit to the urgent completion of the A5 Dublin-Derry road project;

— commit to the Narrow Water Bridge to link the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth with the Mourne District in County Down;

— increase funding for a Brexit-ready all-island approach to tourism;

— increase funding to Waterways Ireland for the maintenance and development of the Barrow navigation, the Erne system, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne waterway and the Shannon navigation;

— promote the development of ports that are of regional significance including Sligo, Killybegs and Galway;

— encourage investment in regional airports, which while boosting the connectivity of peripheral regions would also benefit the local economy and tourism of these areas;

— work to establish strategic development zones around regional airports of critical sizes;

— prioritise road and rail connections in line with the ambitions of regional airports to realise the post-Brexit strategic potential of these airports in rural and peripheral areas;

— conduct a strategic review of rail access to Rosslare Europort to allow the port reach its full potential;

— deepen a berth at Rosslare Europort from 7 metres to 9 metres, where feasible, in accordance with the European Union habitats directive, to allow the port to realise its potential as a strategic asset supporting regional exports and tourism;

— explore the feasibility of the deepening of the Port of Waterford and exploit its commercial potential as a load-on load-off port;

— make the completion of the Limerick-Rosslare road a priority;

— develop a regional transport hub that aligns road, rail and port infrastructure, maximises use of both ports (Rosslare and Waterford), ensures completion of the Enniscorthy and New Ross bypass, and makes improvements to the N24 to greatly improve the Limerick to Waterford road corridor;

— create an independent port authority for Rosslare Europort with a mandate to develop the range and business activity at the port;

— provide funding to all regional airports for necessary development works;

— facilitate funding for the port access northern cross route in Drogheda; and

— invest in health and housing, as a healthy and sustainable social infrastructure is essential to ensure that the State is ready to deal with all post-Brexit scenarios.”

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 40; Níl, 88; Staon, 1.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Curran, John.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Staon

  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Denise Mitchell; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion put and declared carried.
Sitting suspended at 1.35 p.m. and resumed at 2.15 p.m.