Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL
– Mr President, Jean—Claude Juncker likes to refer to PESCO as the sleeping beauty of Lisbon, but I am not sure exactly what the Commission President finds beautiful about wasting billions of euros of public money on weaponry. I prefer it when he is more up front about his intentions, such as in 2015 when he called for an EU army. PESCO and its references to structured cooperation belie what is really afoot: this is a war alliance – a war alliance dreamed up by imperialist nations like France who are still playing their imperialist games in Africa.
In 2008, the Irish people recognised the threat posed by the Lisbon Treaty to their neutrality. They were forced to vote again on the basis that they would have constitutional protection that Ireland would be excluded from any EU common defence programme. Yet here we are in 2017, and the Irish Government has pandered to the EU and its arms industry by joining Ireland up to the PESCO war alliance and committing to increased military expenditure when we have people dying on our streets.