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Motion on EU army contrary to Ireland's neutrality - Aengus O Snodaigh TD

5 December, 2017 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said today that the move by the government to try rush through the Dáil a motion to integrate Irish Defence Forces into the EU military apparatus under Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is "totally at odds with Ireland's neutrality."

Teachta Ó Snodaigh said;

"PESCO is an EU mechanism to bind nations into commitments to increase military spending in the EU, to increase co-operation and collaborations between national armies and making them dependent on each other.

"As far back as the Lisbon Treaty in 2008, I and hundreds of thousands of others voted against such a move. The first attempt by the government was blocked, and then they cobbled together a fudge, a promise to the public that no moves towards military integration in the EU would be countenanced by Ireland without a debate and a vote in the Dáil.

"Today the government attempted to move to join PESCO with just a two hours debate on Thursday, despite the fact that there would have been no opportunity to question the Minister or those who are promoting such a move, and that was to be no chance to hear from those who have concerns  about the continuing erosion of Irish neutrality and greater EU militarisation.

"As well as being an affront to the people and to the members of the House, any debate in those circumstances would not be an informed debate and is contrary to the guarantees the FF government, backed by Fine Gael, gave the Irish people when promising that the so-called Triple-Lock would do the devil and all.

"The Irish people were sold a pup and this PESCO motion proves that such a move would be totally at odds with Ireland's neutrality.

"The motion should not be before the Dáil  and I will continue to argue that any discussion joining PESCO should be deferred until full scrutiny by a committee of the Dáil of its implications can be done so that an informed debate can then be had or not.

"I believe that even a cursory investigation of the criteria and implications of PESCO will show that it is not in Ireland's interests militarily, financially or otherwise, and that .

"The deadline of having to pass the motion by Friday 11 December mentioned by the Minister for Defence today is an arbitrary one and Ireland cannot be bound by such a deadline, especially when it comes to EU projects which would undermine and erode neutrality."ENDS//

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