Fine Gael MEP, Brian Hayes, has welcomed the decision of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to speak at the January session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This comes on the back of an invitation from the Parliament President, Antonio Tajani. It is also part a new procedure where group leaders in Parliament can pose questions to the Taoiseach after his speech.
“This is a great opportunity for Ireland. It comes at a critical moment in our relationship with the European Union. The issues of Brexit and the future of the EU provide an opportunity for the Taoiseach to once again highlight that Ireland will remain in the EU and committed to its future success.
“Members of the European Parliament will also want to hear from the Taoiseach about his plans and ideas about how the EU can work more effectively. They will want to hear Ireland’s views on the future of Europe – from tax to defence to migration policy.
“He has spoken in the past about Ireland being part of the common European home. The decision of Brexit will undoubtedly put pressure in the years to come on all EU member states, none more so than Ireland. Speaking directly to MEPs gives the Taoiseach the opportunity to highlight the risks posed by Brexit, to the body that will ultimately determine by way of vote the final decision on the matter in March 2019.”