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Government approval of PESCO shows total disregard for Irish neutrality – Boylan

23 November, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has said that Irish involvement in the PESCO military initiative would run contrary to the Irish Constitution. Her comments come after Minister Kehoe informed the Dáil that the government is ready to sign off on Irish participation in the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).

Reacting to the ministers comments, Lynn Boylan MEP said:

“It is extremely disappointing that the Independent Alliance Ministers are happy to support Fine Gael’s abandonment of Irish neutrality, PESCO is seen by the EU as vital to completing the EUs Common Foreign and Security Policy which will see member state sovereignty on Defence issues handed over to the EU.

“The Minister’s comments on PESCO deliberately misrepresent the nature of the agreement. Irish participation in PESCO will allow EU oversight of Irish defence spending and introduce requirements for increased defence spending in line with NATO requirements as well as allowing the EU to deploy its own missions totally separate from the UN and in support of NATO.

“The decision of Independent Alliance Ministers to support Fine Gaels militarisation agenda is further proof of their inability to challenge Fine Gael. What exactly is the point in Independent Alliance TDs being in government if they sheepishly follow Fine Gael’s push for greater militarisation?

“PESCO is not simply cooperation between member states, once established PESCO will create requirements for member states to provide troops and equipment for EU missions, both EU and NATO officials have been clear that PESCO is intended to complement NATO’s capabilities to take action in conflicts such as the interventions in Libya and Syria.

“The government has made it clear that they fully support Irish participation in greater EU militarisation even if it violates Article 29(4) 9 of the Irish constitution which clearly rules out Irish involvement in the EU defence cooperation outlined in the Lisbon treaty.” 

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