152. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the implications of Ireland’s recent endorsement of PESCO with its binding commitment to yearly increases in defence spending for wider international work on disarmament; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2956/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Permanent Structured Co-operation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The decision by Ireland to participate in Permanent Structured Cooperation, approved by the Government on 21 November 2017 and endorsed by the Dail on 7 December 2017, in full accordance with the Defence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, has absolutely no implications for Ireland’s wider international work on disarmament.Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is a mechanism provided for in the Treaty of the European...