Sinn Féin’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, has called on the Irish Government to robustly defend Irish neutrality and to veto any attempt to create an EU army.

Crowe was speaking after the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, used his annual State of the Union address to call for an EU military headquarters to be established, which will work towards the creation of a common military force.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Mr. Junker has repeatedly called for the establishment of an EU army and other EU federalists like him are attempting to use Brexit to move towards the establishment of an EU army.

“Mr. Junker’s proposal to create an EU military headquarters to work towards the creation of an EU army needs to be robustly challenged by this Government. They have no problem challenging the European Commission when it finds that the Irish Government has grant illegal state aid to Apple, yet its silence is deafening when the Commission’s President again calls for the creation of an EU army.

“The reality is that Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael Governments have massively eroded Irish neutrality over the last two decades, and with the increased militarisation of the EU we are reaching a critical juncture. A policy of neutrality is supported by the vast majority of Irish citizens and its time the Government listened to them.

“I am calling on the Taoiseach to tell the leaders of other EU Member States at tomorrow’s summit that Irish neutrality will not be negotiated away and that Ireland will veto any attempts to create an EU army.”