Tuesday 16 October 2018

We need a proper debate on the future of Ireland's security and defence policy

Ireland should actively participate in the emerging European Defence Union, writes Brian Hayes

Under-funded: Our defence forces deserve better.
Under-funded: Our defence forces deserve better.

Brian Hayes

The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, very recently said that the EU has moved more in 10 months than in the last 10 years on security and defence cooperation. Yet because of Ireland's so-called policy of neutrality, we have largely remained on the sidelines of this ongoing EU debate.

Irish neutrality is not some tablet of stone or some policy position hewn out of Irish rock that can never be debated or never changed.

Like any major issue, Irish politicians must be able to reflect the international and European debate that is currently taking place. Pretending to the Irish public that we are masters of our own destiny when it comes to providing security to the Irish people is utterly delusional.

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