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Government wrong on Neutrality – McDonald

5 September, 2009

Sinn Féin Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald has accused the Government of misleading the public on the implications for Ireland’s neutrality if the Lisbon Treaty is passed. Ms. McDonald accused the Government of applying a very narrow definition of neutrality in order to avoid the detailed implications of the Lisbon Treaty for the states neutrality.

Speaking as the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) launched its No to Lisbon Campaign Ms. McDonald said:

“The Lisbon Treaty has serious implications for our neutrality. Article 28 for the first time makes clear that the EU will have a common defence policy. The same article obliges member states to increase their military spending; draws us further into a military alliance; states that any future defence policy must be compatible with NATO; allows for the formation of mini military alliances; and expands the list of permissible military actions well beyond peace keeping and humanitarian missions.

“The Government, in an attempt to side step the issue, are applying a very narrow definition of Neutrality. Neutrality is about much more than what a country does with its troops. It is also about the alliances you are part of, the obligations created by those alliances, what you do with your resources, and what can happen in your name.

“Sinn Féin has never argued that Irish troops will be sent overseas on military missions without the consent of the Oireachtas.

“However if Lisbon is passed the significant developments in the area of common defence policy contained in the Treaty will further erode our neutrality.” ENDS

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