Billy KELLEHER : Written explanations of vote 

Members can submit a written explanation of their vote in plenary. Rule 194

Election of the Commission  

Today I voted to elect the new College of Commissioners. President von der Leyen's college is the most gender balanced and climate conscious there has been. Whilst it is not perfect, it is a positive step in the right direction and will set a standard for future Commissions. It is now time for the commissioners to act on their commitments and deliver for the EU. I look forward to working constructively with the commissioners over the coming five years.

EU-Ukraine Agreement amending the trade preferences for poultry meat and poultry meat preparations provided for by the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (C9-0105/2019)  

. ‒ I fully support the measures in this agreement to close an existing loophole on a ‘novel cut’ of chicken breast. There is an urgent need to halt the unlimited duty-free import from the Ukraine of these so-called custom chicken cuts. This legal loophole is putting significant and unfair pressure on European poultry producers and undermines the commitments given to the sector that trade deals are based on a fair and rules-based trading system. I voted to support this agreement as this modification ensures that EU producers will be protected in the future against unlimited imports of poultry meat.

Distance sales of goods and certain domestic supplies of goods (A9-0019/2019 - Ondřej Kovařík)  

I voted in favour of the report on the distance sales of goods and certain domestic supplies of goods to ensure that we have a VAT regime that is fit for the digital age.
Updating the e-commerce rules will simplify VAT procedures across the single market and will make it easier to buy and sell goods cross-border. This legislation will also help to close existing loopholes to ensure that VAT collection is more effective.

Criminalisation of sexual education in Poland (B9-0166/2019, B9-0167/2019, B9-0168/2019) GA  

. – Agus tacaíocht á tabhairt don rún seo agam, aithním an chaoi a bhféadfadh cáineadh ó Pharlaimint na hEorpa cur le bréaginsint de chuid na heite fíordheise sa Pholainn go bhfuil an tAontas, ar bhealach, ag déanamh bulaíocht ar a dtír.
Mar sin féin, ní mór dom tacú leis an rún seo 100% (‘céad fán gcéad’) de bhrí go bhfuil, mar Bhallstát den Aontas, oibleagáidí áirithe le comhlíonadh ag an bPolainn.
Le togra reachtach na Polainne, comhcheanglaítear go hearráideach gníomhaíocht in aghaidh péidifilia le fáil a bheith ar ghnéasoideachas agus ar oideachas sláinte atáirgthe ar bhealach a oireann dá n-aois.
Mar gheall ar bhearta a rialtais, nó dá gceal sin, cuirfear aos óg na Polainne faoi mhíbhuntáiste. Is é an easpa oideachais, seachas soláthar oideachais, is cúis le torthaí nach bhfuiltear ag súil leo.
Ba cheart do shaoránaigh uile na hEorpa an t-eolas agus na scileanna is gá a fháil chun dul i ngleic le saol an lae inniu. Mura gcuirtear ar fáil gnéasoideachas agus oideachas sláinte atáirgthe ar bhealach a oireann dá n-aois, tosóidh an t-aos óg ag brath ar an idirlíon chun eolas a fháil ar chúrsaí den sórt sin. Cúis mhór bhuartha a bheadh ann, gan amhras.

State of play of the disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches - public country-by-country reporting (B9-0117/2019)  

I voted against this motion for two primary reasons.
1. This is not an accountancy matter; it is a tax matter. The proposal, as constructed, does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity. This is an attempt to bring about changes to Irish tax law via the back door.
2. There are already discussions taking place at an OECD level, which I believe is a better forum to discuss these matters, as it affects both EU and non-EU based companies. Having a global response to this issue will lead to better outcomes.
I do not have an ideological objection to public country-by-country reporting of tax by companies; I have an objection to the EU encroaching on Member States’ competences in the area of tax.

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) (A9-0015/2019 - Vilija Blinkevičiūtė)  

. – ‒ I voted in favour of this resolution for two primary reasons. One, Irish SMEs will be affected by the British decision to leave the European Union. They must be supported at a European level to meet these challenges head on. The EGAF does just that.
Secondly, the EGAF should be used to support the economy of the Irish Midlands region and other parts of the country, such as County Clare, which are experiencing a transition from economic activities based on the burning of fossil fuels such as peat, for example.
A just transition is urgently required to ensure that communities do not suffer in the short term and that in the long term, new economic models with well-paying, sustainable jobs are created. I will work with my colleagues in Dáil and Seanad Éireann to ensure that the EGAF is utilised as much as possible to support at-risk communities.

Fishing authorisations for Union fishing vessels in United Kingdom waters and fishing operations of United Kingdom fishing vessels in Union waters (A9-0014/2019 - Chris Davies)  

. – This is a common-sense proposal aimed at maintaining the status quo in terms of fishing rights for Irish vessels in British waters, and vice-versa. Irish fishermen rely on access to British waters to earn a living. Any possible blockage to them earning a living is not acceptable.
This resolution has widespread support and will ensure that the status quo remains in place until a withdrawal agreement and/or future relationship agreement is signed between the UK and the EU. Additionally, this resolution maintains the requirement for all fishing to be carried out in a sustainable fashion.

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and own resources: time to meet citizens' expectations (B9-0110/2019, B9-0112/2019, B9-0113/2019)  

While I have voted in favour of this resolution on the MFF, I want to put on record my opposition to CCCTB being used as a mechanism to fund the Union.
Of course, the Union needs its own sources of revenue, but taxation is not an EU competence; it is a competence of each member state.
Countries such as Ireland, that lack major sources of natural resources to drive their economies, need to be creative and entrepreneurial if they are to secure investment and jobs.
Transparent and fair taxation is one such way, and taking this power away from national governments and national parliaments would be incredibly detrimental to smaller, open economies such as Ireland.

Patentability of plants and essential biological processes (B9-0040/2019, B9-0040/2019, B9-0041/2019, B9-0042/2019, B9-0043/2019, B9-0044/2019, B9-0047/2019)  

It is essential that the European Patents’ Office Court of Appeal listens to and respects the position of farmers, horticulturalists and botanists across Europe who will be hampered and inhibited from doing their very important work. Basic biological processes such as crossing would be banned, thereby reducing the genetic variability of plants in the Union. This is not something the Union should be supporting. In fact, the opposite is required if we are to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
I am supportive of this resolution, as it fixes an issue that arose as a result of ambiguity in the original legislation. No one ever intended to allow for the patentability of tomatoes, other plants and crucially essential biological processes. Common sense is required on this matter. The very idea that the European Patents Office would go against the best interests of the public and the express will of the Commission and Parliament is not acceptable. Across Europe and in my own country of Ireland, jobs could be put at risk if this situation is allowed to continue. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) cannot afford the pay for patent rights to make use of essential biological processes.