Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said Ireland must oppose increasingly overt moves towards the militarisation of the EU.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after French President Emmanuel Macron called for the creation of an EU army.
“Ever since I was elected to the European Union I have been deeply concerned by the creeping militarisation of the EU by elements within it,” she said.
“I have repeatedly warned that the goal of these people is the creation of an EU army; claims that have been repeatedly rubbished by skeptics such as those in Fine Gael.
“Indeed it was less than two weeks ago that Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes suggested we need to reexamine our stance on neutrality.
“Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments are the most overt indication yet that this is indeed the goal of militarists within the EU.
“In addition to proposing the creation of an EU army which he said would ‘complement the work of NATO’ he has also called for the introduction of EU identity cards and a shared defence budget.
“It is clear that the rhetoric in favour of an EU army is being ramped up. Now more than ever all Irish MEPs must stand up for our policy of neutrality and the Government must reaffirm their commitment to it.
“If we do not stop this now it is only a matter of time before the EU becomes a military superstate, something which is anathema to the reasons it was formed in the first place.
“We cannot have Irish soldiers involved in wars of conquest or party to the destruction regularly wreaked by NATO forces and allies.”