I warmly welcome our Ukrainian friends.
Last night, the British Government published legislation that gives British Ministers power to override unilaterally parts of the Irish protocol. This move by the British Prime Minister, Mr. Boris Johnson, and his Government is disgraceful and utterly reckless. Mr Johnson's belligerent approach to Ireland is part of a cynical attempt to cling to power in Britain at any cost. It jeopardises so much achieved by so many over such a long period of time. It fundamentally undermines the Brexit protections for Ireland that were so hard won, and it risks serious economic and political damage.
I share the view of the Minister, Deputy Coveney, that Ireland will not be the collateral damage for irresponsible Tory actions. Therefore, let us be clear. The British Government's plan to strip away the protocol is a plan intentionally to break international law. In a supreme act of bad faith, it intends to walk away from its legal obligations and agreements. It is worth remembering that not alone did the British Government sign-up the protocol but, in fact, it was central to designing its content and operation.
The utter recklessness of this move is underscored by the fact the protocol is, in fact, working. It gives the North access to both the British market and the EU Single Market of more than 500 million people. The North's economy is outperforming the English economy, business is growing and new jobs are being created. Of course, cross-Border trade has increased significantly, and the all-island economy is thriving. The Tory Government now puts all of this at risk. We have heard voice after voice from the business community describe how this unilateral action threatens significant harm to businesses in Ireland and, indeed, in Britain. It endangers thousands of jobs and investment. The way to resolve implementation issues is to sit down and talk to the EU, but this is something the British have refused to do now for 123 days. Instead of engagement, Mr. Johnson opts for shameful political play-acting.
Tory disdain for political stability in Ireland is now up in lights again. This latest move is part of a wider wrecking agenda that seeks to undermine the Good Friday Agreement and to rob our people of a better future. Mr. Johnson allows the DUP to block the formation of an Executive in Belfast. Mr. Johnson then uses this political deadlock as a threadbare excuse to break international law and pursue his self-serving agenda. All the while, workers and families in the North are without a government as they struggle in a cost-of-living crisis.
Is gníomh contúirteach de mheon mímhacánta í reachtaíocht Rialtas na Breataine chun an prótacal a shárú. Tá cur chuige aontaithe Oireachtais ag teastáil uainn chun leasanna na hÉireann a chosaint.
Ní dhéanfaidh Boris Johnson bulaíocht ar Éirinn. We need to take an all-of-Oireachtas approach in standing up to Boris Johnson’s renewed attempt to bully Ireland. We will not be bullied.
We know we are not alone. Boris Johnson’s dangerous move has been strongly condemned in the United States, in Europe and indeed across the world. In the spirit of unity, does the Taoiseach agree the actions of the British Government are shameful, reckless and dangerous? Does he agree we must now mobilise all forces in support of the Good Friday Agreement and for Ireland’s prosperity to ensure Boris Johnson is faced down?