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Government must oppose EU military capacity expansion plans – Ó Snodaigh

13 September, 2016 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin’s Defence Spokesperson Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh has expressed alarm at proposals relating to the European Union’s defence strategy in advance of a meeting of EU leaders in Bratislava this week.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh has urged government ministers to remain resolute in the face of efforts to expand the EU's military capacity and to reject out of hand the proposed new European security contract being tabled by French and German foreign ministers.

“This week’s meeting in Bratislava,” said Deputy Ó Snodaigh, “will consider Britain’s exit from the EU and the likely implications for the common defence and foreign security policy of the union.

“It comes on the back of efforts by the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to devise an ambitious implementation plan on security and defence that would make use of previously unused articles of the Lisbon Treaty.

“One of the main proposals under consideration is a permanent structured co-operation mechanism that would encourage increased pooling of countries' military and defence capabilities.

“The so called common defence policy is in reality part of a drive to militarise the EU that has seen the expansion of its battlegroups which Ireland has participated in. In the face of this worrying policy shift it is very important that the government opposes any further erosion of our State’s neutrality.

“Sinn Féin will carefully monitor proceedings in Bratislava and I will be asking the Irish Foreign Affair’s Minister Charlie Flanagan to provide a full account of the meeting to the Dáil when it meets after the summer recess on September 27th.”

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