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Ó Snodaigh challenges government to oppose European Defence Fund

30 November, 2016 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said that plans by the European Commission to create a new fund for military procurement and research is part of a wider agenda to form a unified European Army.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh was responding to today’s European Commission in Brussels looking for member states to pool their money into a European Defence Fund to pay for the procurement of armaments such as helicopters, warships and drones and military research.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Despite repeated warnings by Sinn Féin and others, the drive for European arms race continues apace with the decision to create a fund for military procurement and research.

“It is already estimated that the EU will allocate €90 million between 2017 and 2019 to the research fund and this will increase substantially from 2021-2027 to €4 billion. These figures will be dwarfed by the €300 million war chest which is being proposed to buy armaments.

“This proposal is totally at odds with the EU being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It has more to do with global posturing and EU imperialism than the supposed peaceful intent that led to the formation of the European Union in the aftermath of two world wars.

“Earlier this month, EU foreign and defence ministers agreed to establish a centralised command headquarters and create joint rapid-reaction forces that could be deployed at short notice.  Today’s proposal adds weight that the ultimate goal behind these decisions is the creation of an EU defence union and a standing European army.

“Sinn Féin will calling on the government to reject out of hand this proposal when it comes before the European Council when it meets on the 15 and 16 of December.

“On Thursday (1st December), the Dáil will vote on a Bill that I jointly tabled last week with my party colleague Deputy Seán Crowe the purpose of which was to enshrine neutrality within the constitution. The Government and Fianna Fáil have indicated they would oppose the Bill which is hardly surprising as they attach little value to our neutrality. This is further evidenced by their support for increased EU spending on military research and armaments and their refusal to take a stand and oppose European military expansionism.” 

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