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TD expresses grave concern about Government support for EU immigration policy

19 November, 2003

Speaking  at  a  meeting of the European Affairs Committee today, which is to be addressed  by  the  UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sinn Féin spokesperson on International  Affairs,  Aengus  Ó Snodaigh, expressed "grave concerns about the direction  of the evolving EU common immigration policy" and what he called "the entrenchment  of  a  Fortress Europe."  He said it was hypocritical of the Irish government  to  endorse this evolving policy "given our own history of extensive economic migration."

Deputy  Ó  Snodaigh said: "Given our own history of extensive economic migration it is hypocritical of the government to be supporting policies which promote the entrenchment of a Fortress Europe.  I firmly believe that it will interfere with our international obligations regarding the protection of refugees. "Given  that  there  is  NO  CONSENSUS on the Government policy of making war on immigrants  and  refugees  there  is  an urgent need for a broader debate on the issue in the Dáil.

"And  because  of  that I am calling on the European Affairs Committee to invite submissions  from the range of human rights and refugee protection organisations active in this state so that they can outline their concerns about the "downward harmonisation" trend in the emerging EU common policy - a concern that is shared by  the  High  Commissioner.  This Committee has a responsibility to follow this up,  in  conjunction  with  the  Justice  Committee,  because  of the escalating pressure to adopt such measures without adequate parliamentary scrutiny. " ENDS

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