US lobbied FF to block Seanad vote on Israeli boycott

US lobbied FF to block Seanad vote on Israeli boycott

July 12, 2018 0 By news club

Fianna Fáil has confirmed that it was lobbied by the US State Department, the US embassy in Dublin and the Israeli embassy in an effort to get the party to withdraw its support for a Bill which would ban goods from occupied Palestinian territories.

A party spokesman confirmed to The Irish Times that the contacts were “cordial” and the party clarified its position, confirming that it intended to support the Bill.

Fianna Fáil support is crucial to the Bill as it is strongly opposed by the Government. The Bill, proposed by Independent Senator Frances Back, passed its first vote in the Seanad on Wednesday by 25 votes to 20 with the support of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and several Independent Senators.

Once it passes through the Seanad, it must then pass through the Dáil before becoming law. If supported by the same coalition of parties and Independents, it would have sufficient support to pass in the Dáil and become law.

However, the Government says the Bill cannot be brought into force as trade is an EU competence. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who spoke against the proposed legisation in the Seanad, said he was obliged to follow the advice of the Attorney General on the Bill.

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