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Government forfeiting of debate on PNR disgraceful

25 June, 2008

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has described today's rushing through with no debate of a motion which will instate an Agreement between the European Union and Australia on the processing and transfer of EU-sourced passenger name record (PNR) data as "disgraceful."

The Sinn Féin Deputy said:

"The motion being rushed through the house today is hugely important. It is a proposal on an agreement between the EU and Australia on the storage of passenger information.

"Despite the serious nature of the contents of what is being put before us today opposition whips were only informed yesterday of the government motion which must be voted on today.

"This has implications not only for data retention, but data protection and must, therefore, be of considerable concern to all. Rushing through this motion in the absence of full scrutiny and debate is a disgraceful way for government to force this house to do business.

"The reason why it is being rushed through is nonsense. The Taoiseach this morning admitted to the house that the Slovenian Presidency of the Union is keen to finalise the agreement before its presidency concludes this Friday and that is why we are not being allowed time to debate its contents. Our right and responsibility to debate this motion has been forfeited for all the wrong reasons." ENDS

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