UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

New Irish PM now agrees Irish BDS Bill is illegal

The new Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Micheál Martin TD, who previously supported the BDS Bill introduced by Senator Frances Black, has now agreed that “it is not legally possible”.

The Taoiseach was referring to the clear advice which the previous Irish government had received, that the Bill is contrary to EU law, in particular since the EU has exclusive competence over foreign trade policy.


Micheál Martin TD  Photo: Wiki Commons

Before the recent election, Mr Martin and his Fianna Fail party had voted in favour of the Bill, defeating the minority Fine Gael government in a series of votes in the Irish parliament. However, the then government had stopped progress of the Bill by exercising its right to veto any Bill that would require government expenditure.

Fine Gael lost ground in the election and the new government is a coalition of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party. The Bill was not included in the new government’s programme, but this did not exclude the possibility that it might be reintroduced by an opposition Senator.

However, answering questions in the Irish Parliament on 21 July 2020, Mr Martin indicated that he now accepts the advice that the Bill is illegal. He will therefore presumably refuse to give the government’s consent to the Bill proceeding even if it is reintroduced.

UKLFI played a major role in demonstrating the illegality of the Bill and the errors in legal opinions deployed by supporters of the Bill as described in a previous post.

Jonathan Turner, Chief Executive of UKLFI, said: “We are delighted that leaders of both of the major mainstream Irish parties now agree that this antisemitic Bill is illegal”.