EU Joint Civil and Military HQ does not encroach on Irish Neutrality- Hayes
Dublin MEP Brian Hayes has today (Monday) said that claims that Ireland’s neutrality policy is at risk and that Ireland will be forced to participate in an EU army are false. Once again, those anti EU forces are deliberately scaremongering.
The Dublin Fine Gael MEP said that EU plans to establish an EU headquarters to support humanitarian operations is being translated by Sinn Fein and others into the creation of an EU army with Ireland’s participation.
“Let’s not forget that over many referenda we were told by Sinn Fein that agreeing to EU treaty change would mean that our children would be conscripted into an EU army.
“Let’s be clear – when it comes to EU Defence policy there is no question who has the final say. Defence is a national competency. This is a fact. Claims that the EU will force Ireland into an EU army is a blatant lie.
“The EU cannot change Ireland’s traditional policy of neutrality. Any move towards a common EU Defence policy requires a unanimous decision of all EU Member States. This is stated in the Nice Treaty and restated in the Lisbon Treaty, which Ireland secured as part of the Lisbon Treaty negotiation. Article 29 of our Constitution also prohibits our participation in a Common Defence arrangement.
“The EU proposal to establish a joint civil-military HQ to support crisis management and humanitarian operations is not an EU army. It would mean better co-ordination. For example had the HQ been in place when the migrant crisis began, the EU could have responded with a faster coordinated plan. What is agreed as a cornerstone of EU security policy is what is referred to as the St. Petersburg tasks. These are all round peacekeeping, disaster relief and humanitarian support. At no stage has Ireland agreed to mutual defence pact.
“Ireland has a proud record of participating in UN backed peacekeeping missions. Our neutral position is a longstanding policy recognised by all EU Member States. Those now pretending to the Irish people that EU defence and security coordination is some new departure highlights once again the scaremongering of the Eurosceptics in Ireland.”