Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that continued representation for his party in the European Parliament is the last hope for Irish people that want to protect our Neutrality and avoid any Irish participation in an EU army.
Carthy was speaking from the European Parliament following the publication of Sinn Féin’s “Defending Irish Neutrality” policy document on Monday:
“The European Commission plans to allocate €13 Billion over the next five years for an EU defence fund – a euphemism for an EU army. This at a time when they propose to cut vital funding streams such as CAP and Cohesion and at a time when public services in countries like Ireland are stretched to breaking point.
“Sinn Féin will oppose increased Irish contributions to an EU budget that is concentrated on developing a war machine. Instead, we will defend Irish neutrality.
“Military neutrality is an important plank of Irish foreign policy. Protecting Irish neutrality will save our taxpayers millions, keep our citizens safer, safeguard our international reputation and allow us to play a positive role in peace building across the world.
“Last week Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael rejected a Sinn Féin motion that would allow the Irish people the chance to enshrine neutrality in our constitution. This is not surprising; Fine Gael MEPs have become chief cheerleaders for the European Militarisation agenda while the leader of Fianna Fáil’s group in the European Parliament described the creation of an EU army as “our project”.
“These parties, often with the support of Labour, Independents and Green party have led governments that have systematically eroded our neutrality since the 1990s.
“Sinn Féin is the only party that has a consistent position in opposition to the development of a centralised EU military framework and in support of Irish neutrality.
“The next European Parliament term will be a decisive period in the future of the EU and Ireland’s role within it. If voters want our neutrality to be protected and for the EU to become a force for peace rather than conflict then they should vote for Sinn Féin candidates as we are the only party that can be trusted on these matters”.