Ireland must have an open robust national debate on security and defence - now - Barry Andrews MEP

Published on: 08 March 2022

Barry Andrews MEP for Dublin has demanded a robust national debate on Ireland’s security and defence policies in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

MEP Andrews stated that ‘Ireland is in the midst of a much-needed national debate on its security and defence. Russia’s senseless and shocking invasion of Ukraine has stunned the world and the Irish public. What seemed so secure and certain only two weeks ago has disappeared before our very eyes. Across Europe, we have seen longstanding policies reversed in Germany, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland, to name a few. Ireland is now in the process of this debate’.

MEP Andrews continued.

‘When it comes to this debate, I have five main comments to make:

First of all, I think that the triple lock system is no longer fit for purpose.

Secondly, we must cooperate closer with the European Union, particularly in the area of PESCO but also on CSDP missions.

Third, on common European defence, if we are prepared to defend Ireland, I think we also need to be able to defend our common European home.

Fourth, and a red line for me, there are no circumstances in which I think it would be appropriate to join NATO. NATO has been guilty of adventurism far beyond the territories of its members over the past number of decades.

Finally, we need extra investment, far more than the current 0.2% GDP, in order to bring ourselves up to a standard that is appropriate at least to be able to defend our own territory. This is particularly necessary in the field of cybersecurity’.