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Green Leader admits Lisbon will lead to Increased Military Expenditure in Ireland

3 March, 2009

Sinn Fein Vice President and Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has this morning welcomed Green Party Leader John Gormley’s admission that the Lisbon Treaty will lead to Ireland increasing its military spend in Europe. Ms McDonald has also called on the government to put into the public domain any and all texts relating to the Lisbon re-run guarantees adding ‘if the government has secured guarantees, well, let’s see them! It’s time to end the charade. Ireland and Europe need a new treaty for a new time.”

Speaking today from Dublin Ms McDonald said:

“Throughout the Lisbon campaign Sinn Féin argued that the Treaty would lead to Ireland being forced to increase its military spend in Europe. This argument was roundly rejected by the government and political proponents of the Treaty.

“Now the Green Party leader is seeking commitments from Ireland’s European partners that the state will not have to increase it’s spend if the people ratify the Treaty. Naturally Mr. Gormley’s demand is a welcome one however it does now rubbish the government’s claim that the Lisbon Treaty would not further commit Ireland to EU militarism. That leaves us with no other option but to ask the question, what else is the government misleading us on when it comes to the Lisbon Treaty?

“Mr. Gormley also says that he will be also calling for Ireland’s withdrawal from the European Defence Agency at tomorrow’s cabinet debate on the Lisbon re-run texts. I believe the Green Party leader may have somewhat of a battle on his hands as just a couple of weeks ago Fianna Fáil MEPs voted in favour of a report presented to the EU parliament that includes a reference to the Lisbon Treaty which notes….‘commits member states to the progressive improvement of military capabilities, expands the role of the European Defence Agency’.

“Critics of the Lisbon Treaty have warned time and time again against the increased miltarisation in Europewhich is undermining Ireland’s neutrality. A number of reports were adopted last month by the EU Parliament on military related issues which were supported by Fianna Fáil MEPs. It is time for the government to stop talking out of both sides of its mouth on this issue.

“Sinn Féin has already raised a number of issues concerning the Lisbonre-run guarantees that the government, and that includes Minister Gormley, have yet to answer. Will the so called legally binding guarantees be published in advance of a second referendum? Will the guarantees alter the text, the legal interpretation of the text, or the implementation of the text of the Lisbon Treaty should it be ratified? Would be retain a commissioner indefinitely? What about the other major issues of concern such as workers rights, public services, international trade, the developing world, how does the government intend to deal with these major issues of concern?

“It is time now for the government to publish the texts of the sought after Lisbon re-run guarantees.” ENDS

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