The Workers’ Party has said that under no circumstances should Ireland become a member or associate of the new Permanent Structured Defence Cooperation body (PESCO).
Seamus McDonagh, the Workers’ Party’s Meath representative, said that PESCO represented a further step along the road to a full-blown EU army and defence structure in which Ireland would become irretrievably entangled. It also commits this country to ever increasing expenditure on defence and so-called security structures and equipment.
McDonagh said: “Fine Gael’s aversion to Irish neutrality is well known and is of long standing. In government it has continued to erode that neutrality and PESCO is a further step along that road. ”.
“PESCO would inevitably lead to cuts in public spending in key areas It is hardly a secret that Ireland is currently in the middle of its worst housing crisis in the history of the state, its health system is in permanent chaos and austerity is still a very real factor of life for a large part of the population. There is no justification for joining PESCO on economic grounds or on moral grounds”.
“In the debate during the Lisbon Treaty referendum the Workers’ Party warned of the inevitable slide towards building EU military and defence mechanisms and the ever increasing cost of that to member states. This is only the latest step in the relentless drive towards a full-blown EU army and military apparatus in tandem with the EU armaments industry. It is unnecessary, unacceptable and Ireland should have no truck with it”, said Seamus McDonagh.