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No EU austerity when it comes to militarisation – Boylan

16 March, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has savaged a report which was voted through the European Parliament today which looks at the scope available through the Lisbon Treaty to push on with an EU Common Security and Defence Policy which would force Ireland to increase national defence expenditure.

The Dublin MEP said:

“Despite its impressive sounding name, the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is completely misleading. The policy will improve neither security nor defence; rather, it is an outward looking offensive imperialistic military project.

“From start to finish, work on this report had one objective, to see the scope available under the Lisbon Treaty to push forward with and EU CSDP, and how to avoid any complications with Member States while doing so. It is an issue which I have spoken out against on many occasions, not least because it would contravene our neutrality, but also because of the extraordinary financial implications it would have on Ireland.

“The CSDP as currently envisioned would force Ireland to increase and maintain spending on weapons and military capabilities to 2% of GDP. This is an outrageous proposal, especially at a time when our health service is a shambles and we have the worst housing and homelessness crisis to ever face the state.

“However, the military spending does not stop there. This imperialistic vanity project also seeks additional funding from Member States and a specific new funding line in the EU budget for defence and seeking to raise overall EU military expenditure by €100 billion over 3 years.

“Apart from the direct contradictions to Ireland's neutrality through its call for an EU army and a permanent military structure, PESCO, it is as much about the fact that we are continuously told that there is no money to invest in our public services, in our water infrastructure, or on capital infrastructure projects, yet the EU wants spending on militarisation in the Irish budget to increase from 0.6% to 2%.

“Furthermore, the increase of military spending will fall within the already existing EU budgetary constraints levelled on us through the Fiscal Stability Treaty. Therefore, it would mean that in order to achieve the 2% target there will have to be either severe cuts to public services or tax increases, or both.

“It is up to the Irish Government to protect our neutrality and our public finances and oppose this policy. It is also high time that the Taoiseach stopped being a lackey at the EU Council and speak out against these transgressions.” 

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