Fine Gael under pressure from EU partners on neutrality - Lynn Boylan MEP
The four Fine Gael MEPs have today published a policy document which calls for Ireland to abandon our long tradition of neutrality in favour of a European military alliance.
Reacting to the news, Sinn Fein MEP, Lynn Boylan said:
"It is surprising to see Fine Gael MEPs now calling for Ireland to change our policy of neutrality, when the government has consistently claimed that our neutrality is not threatened by the new European military agreement (PESCO).
"Yet now the four Fine Gael MEPs have proposed that Ireland not only fully participates in the increasing militarism but incredibly that we get rid of the triple lock and give the government the power to deploy Irish troops as part of military missions which do not have UN approval.
"This would mean that Irish troops could be deployed alongside European NATO powers as part of missions designed with NATOs strategic interests in mind.
"One would have to question why the sudden prioritising of militarism? Fine Gael need to clarify what role their European partners in the European People's Party (EPP) have had in pushing Ireland to abandon neutrality.
"The EPP has been to the forefront in pushing for a militarised EU, with many of the delegations coming from countries with strong connections to the arms industry. Has the EPP pressured the Fine Gael MEPs to support further militarisation and defence cooperation in return for their support for Ireland in Brexit negotiations?
"It is no secret that since the Brexit vote those with federalist ambitions, many of whom are affiliated to the EPP, have seen this as an opportunity to further those aims. Is this a case of the Fine Gael MEPs buckling under pressure from their European colleagues?"