Republican Youth Delegation

25 youth activists from across the Midlands Northwest will visit the European Parliament on a fact finding mission to meet and plan with other political groupings

Plenary Week in Strasbourg

Every few weeks MEPs travel to Strasbourg for the Plenary

For plenary sittings, the 751 Members of the European Parliament meet in the Chambers in Strasbourg to vote

Plenary Week in Strasbourg

Every few weeks MEPs travel to Strasbourg for the Plenary

For plenary sittings, the 751 Members of the European Parliament meet in the Chambers in Strasbourg to vote

European Citizens Prize events in Brussels

Nominated by 4 Sinn Féin MEPs and 2 Independant MEPs, Marian Harkin and Nessa Childers, the cross-sectoral campaign group, Border Communities Against Brexit have won the prestigious European Citizens Prize 2017.

This is a fantastic achievement for the group, which was established in response to the Brexit referendum result which presents the threat that the North of Ireland will be dragged out of the EU with disastrous consequences for the entire island of Ireland. This of course would be in contravention of the wishes of the people in the North who voted to remain in the EU.

The group have lobbied in Ireland and in Brussels against Brexit and this award is a recognition of their resolute efforts.

Government should have “no hand, act or part” in assisting imposition of hard border after Brexit

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that the Irish Government should have no “hand, act or part” in reconstructing a hard border on the island of Ireland”.

Speaking from Brussels this week, after it emerged that a report by Irish Revenue Commissioners has outlined proposals for additional customs staff and infrastructure as a result of Brexit, Matt Carthy said:

“Under no circumstances should any Irish Government have any hand, act or part in assisting the British to reimpose an unwanted, hard border on the island of Ireland.

“Any such move would be an act of sabotage against the Irish economy and a betrayal of the interests of Irish citizens.

“It would also amount to a shameful denial of the democratic rights of people on the North of Ireland to remain, as they wish, in the European Union.

“It would undermine the Irish Government’s responsibilities as a joint guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement.

“In my view the Government should not accept any report from any agency which advocates Irish involvement in reconstructing a hard border on this island.”

Government’s foot-dragging on Apple tax to waste more taxpayers’ money

Matt Carthy has said the foot-dragging by the Irish Government when it comes to recovering Apple’s unpaid tax bill will now waste even more of taxpayers’ money.

Carthy, a member of the Panama Papers inquiry into tax avoidance and tax evasion, was speaking in response to the Commission’s announcement that it is taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice over the government’s failure to collect any of the unpaid tax.

Carthy said:

“The deadline for recovering the unpaid tax was January this year and until the amount is recovered, Apple continues to enjoy an unfair advantage over its competitors.

“Even though the Irish Government is appealing the Commission’s ruling, it was still required to take action to collect the tax and put it in an escrow account until the appeal is decided upon.

“The Government has options if it encounters practical difficulties in recovering the unpaid Apple tax.

“It could seek assistance from the Commission; it could at the very least seek to collect a partial sum in a temporary account while it resolves any practical issues.

“But the Government has not collected a cent. It appears to have completely failed to engage with the Commission on this issue and it does not even expect to complete the calculation of the amount owed by Apple until March next year.

“Last year Irish Government representatives were hyperventilating over their own claims that the Commission could take the Irish state to the ECJ over water charges. The government suggested all possible steps should be taken to prevent that development.

“That approach contrasts sharply with the foot-dragging by the government when it comes to Apple.

“Today’s announcement is the inevitable outcome of the government’s approach when it comes to protecting its cosy relationships and sweetheart deals with the wealthiest corporations in the world, at the expense of ordinary people who don’t have the privilege of not paying their taxes.

“These corporations continue to use the Irish state as a central conduit in their global web of tax havens.

“If the Irish Government then fails to comply with the ECJ ruling, the ECJ can impose penalties, which could cost taxpayers enormous sums.

“The Government says going to the ECJ is wholly unnecessary. I agree – it is wholly unnecessary, and it could easily have been avoided if the Government just accepted the unpaid tax that Apple owed to the Irish taxpayers in the first place, instead of bending over backwards to try to make sure the richest corporation in the world gets away with industrial-scale tax avoidance.”