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The Irish Arms policy is accommodating authoritarian regimes - Lynn Boylan MEP

14 November, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

In light of today's vote in Strasbourg on Arms Exports, Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan MEP, has called on the Irish Government to radically revise its arms policy.

Ms Boylan, MEP for Dublin, said: "I welcome the Parliament’s vote today, which calls on Member States to report licences granted for arms exports and sets minimum criteria for export controls.

"The report, which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the European Parliament, also calls for more transparency in reporting the sale of arms to authoritarian regimes and war zones."

Ms Boylan continued,

"It is unacceptable that the EU is currently the second largest arms exporter in the world, after the US, with these weapons ending up in war zones like Yemen. 

"I am calling on the Irish Government to own up to its responsibilities and change its current arms policy.

“The Irish government must confirm that it will no longer issue export licences for weapons to Turkey, the UAE or Saudi Arabia, as it has done for the past five years.

"Also, the Irish government should confirm that it will no longer issue licenses for exports to authoritarian governments and active participants in ongoing wars.

“With this vote, the Parliament calls for Member States like Ireland to update reports and record all data on their arms exports.

"It is also the first time the EU has been called upon to put in place sanctions for those Member States that decide to flout the rules, acknowledging that European weapons are fundamentally responsible for conflicts, such as in Yemen.”

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