Proposal Made for Speaking Rights for Northern MPs in Dáil CommitteesAontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has written to the Ceann Comhairle. He has done so to request that the Dáil Reform Committee would reform Standing Orders of the Oireachtas Committees to facilitate MPs elected in the North of Ireland, membership with speaking rights of all Oireachtas Committees.
Speaking after a meeting of the Good Friday Agreement Committee of which An Teachta Tóibín is a member of, he stated;
“Brexit and Covid have brought into sharp relief, in life and death terms, the serious need for stronger All Ireland cooperation and communication. Our health service, economy, trade and society would benefit significantly from all-Ireland development in many ways. Given Covid and Brexit, a significant debate is already occurring in civil society about further all Ireland Cooperation and Unity”.
“I have spoken to the Committee Secretariat in Leinster House and I understand that there is nothing in law or in the constitution preventing MPs elected in the North of Ireland from being able to attend Oireachtas Committee meetings as Members.
I do understand that government parties maybe concerned in terms of votes on legislation etc. However, it should be possible to facilitate membership with speaking rights to MPs elected in the North of Ireland Oireachtas Committees without providing for votes to these members at this point. It would simply require reform of Standing Orders to facilitate this”.
“This would allow for better north south understanding, the sharing of information north and south, the cross pollination of ideas, better implementation of key policy such as Covid Suppression Policy and Cost of Brexit amelioration. This would be, in my view, a common sense, practical step that provides real opportunity with no costs”.