Ireland could be part of EU army as early as 2021 – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has spoken out against the decision of the Government to sign up to PESCO, stating that such a move is underwriting Ireland’s involvement in an EU army and a complete undermining of Ireland’s neutrality.
Speaking on a motion on the matter in the Dáil this afternoon, Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:
“The President of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, as recently as September 2017, clearly stated that by 2025 there would be a functioning European Defence Union.
“An infograph from the EU Commission states that this could be in place as early as 2021.
“The Government’s decision to sign up to PESCO is clearly committing to Ireland’s involvement in EU defence.
“PESCO clearly goes beyond traditional peacekeeping missions and is effectively the basis for the establishment of an EU army and enhanced military integration, being driven by France and Germany – two key NATO members.
“It aligns spending on defence in line with that of NATO members – effectively quadrupling defence spending at a time when we have chaos in housing and healthcare.
“I support increased defence spending to ensure that our defence forces can increase capacity to carry out services such as an air ambulance transfer services and ensuring that our defence forces personnel have appropriate pay and working conditions.
“However, I have no desire to see funding diverted from critical public services in order to feed an EU defence fund that increases the European Union’s militarisation and that will to fight battles that are not ours.
“The people of this state sent a clear message that they did not want to see our neutrality undermined when they voted against the Lisbon Treaty in the first instance.
“The concerns raised at that point were rubbished by the Fianna Fáil government of the day and it is no surprise to me that they are eager to line up behind Fine Gael in order to sell out our neutrality.
“The fact that the Government has already decided to inform the EU Council that we are willing to sign up to PESCO without proper debate, without consultation with key witnesses at Committee, is a complete betrayal of the Irish people and the constitution.”