4 June 2009 Edition

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Government inaction on EU superstate is biggest threat to neutrality

THE biggest threat to Irish neutrality today is the Fianna Fáil/Green Government’s unquestioning approach to the drive towards an EU superstate, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said at press conference for EU candidates by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) last Friday.
“In less than six months,” the Sinn Féin deputy leader said, “the Irish Government will attempt to force through the Lisbon Treaty and they will be supported in this by Fine Gael and Labour. The Irish people need MEPs that will stand up for Ireland’s interests in Europe, not more yes men who are happy to represent Brussels in Ireland.
“Sinn Féin is totally opposed to the re-running of the Lisbon Treaty. It is our view that the Irish government has not secured the changes required to address the concerns of the Irish people. Empty declarations will not stop Ireland being dragged into a militarised Europe. Ireland has a proud record in Europe. We have a proud history as a neutral state. The Government should be using this record in a positive way and not drawing us into a common EU defence by stealth.”

Mary Lou McDonald pointed out that, during the Lisbon Treaty referendum, there were huge concerns raised about the growing militarisation of the EU and the Government’s abandoning of neutrality.
“The fact is that if the Lisbon Treaty had been passed or if Lisbon is forced through it will result in more Irish taxpayers’ money being spent on Irish and EU military capabilities. It will increase the EU’s control over foreign and security policy. It will allow for the emergence of mini military alliances of member states and, for the first time, the EU will have its own Foreign Minister with a diplomatic corps who will oversee such policies.
“Any political party or government who argues that all of this does not affect Ireland’s neutrality either does not understand what is going on or simply does not care.
“I believe Ireland should play a positive role on the international stage but we must do so with reasonability and in line with the values and aspirations of the Irish people.”

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