Accelerated moves towards EU army raises big questions for Irish political parties- Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on Fianna Fáil to confirm that it is supporting Irish membership of any EU army. He said that Fine Gael has made it increasingly clear in recent times that it is intent on abandoning Irish neutrality while Fianna Fáil had attempted to remain mute on the matter.
Carthy was speaking after Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, which Fianna Fáil is a member of, this week re-shared a speech he made at the recent ALDE Congress in Madrid in which he fully backed an EU army that he argued was necessary and stated ‘This is our project’.
Carthy said: “This week Germany and France have signed a new cooperation deal, which takes us yet another step closer to a fully-fledged EU army. This is a serious risk to Irish interests and our government, and all parties, need to take a stand now to defend Irish neutrality.
“Mr Verhofstadt’s comments were made at the ALDE Congress that was attended by both Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Timmy Dooley TD. Fianna Fáil need to be honest. A vote for them in the EU elections is a vote for this project – their project as their affiliate leader in Brussels describes it.
“Europe is gearing up for an intensification of conflict with Russia. This reckless move has nothing to do with the Irish people and we should not have anything to do with it.
“The EU is still exporting weapons of war on a mass scale to Saudi Arabia, responsible for the ongoing starvation of the people of Yemen. Britain and France top the export list among EU states but many other EU member states, including Ireland, are also selling weapons or dual-use items to arm Saudi Arabia – despite the European Parliament’s repeated demands for an EU arms embargo on this pariah state.
“Irish neutrality is under a serious and sustained attack from the EU institutions. From PESCO (which FF & FG have already committed Ireland to) to the EU’s common defence strategy to the new European Defence Fund, the militarisation of the EU continues at an alarming pace, while the Irish government hasn’t made a peep of opposition.
“Our neutrality is not something that can be casually eroded or forgotten about. It protects us from becoming involved in deadly conflicts; it ensures we don’t waste public money on the machinery of wars; it allows us to play a positive and genuine peacekeeping rule under UN mandates; and it ensures that Irish citizens are safer overseas wherever they travel.
“All Irish parties need to stand together to reject the warmongering of EU leaders, and defend our neutrality. Sinn Féin is clear where we stand. Other parties, less so.”