U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Login ] [ Active ]

UK European Union referendum

Log-in to remove advertisement.

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Remain a member of the EU
Leave the EU
Don't know/other
Total votes : 21
Post 01 Mar 2016, 15:49
See poll. What do you think of the "Brexit" referendum? Some statements by communist parties and other articles follow below.

Portuguese CP:

Statement by the Political Committee of the Portuguese Communist Party Central Committee

On the Conclusions of the February 18-19 European Council

February 22, 2016

1. The decisions of the February 18-19 meeting of the European Council clearly show the current level of crisis, breakdown, absence of values and lack of legitimacy of the process of capitalist integration in Europe. This is a crisis that highlights the need and the urgency of breaking with a process of integration that is exhausted and increasingly marked by economic and political policies that represent a social and civilizational regression and by growing attacks against democracy and the sovereignty of the peoples.

2. The negotiations regarding the position of Great Britain in the European Union (the so-called “Brexit”) and the “solution” that was found reveal that, when confronted with a worsening economic and social crisis in Europe and with the contradictions between powers that grow in that context, the leaders of the European Union find no other answer than to, on the one hand, attempt to “accomodate” in a bureaucratic mess the elements of desintegration of the European Union and, on the other, to deepen the reactionary nature of their policies. The decisions that have now been announced belie the much heralded and sanctified “freedoms” of the European Union. The “freedom of movements and circulation” is, after all and as the PCP always said, freedom for big capital and the big monopolies to overcome borders in their policies and in their acts of economic domination, exploitation, extorsion and destruction of the rights and guarantees of the workers in the European Union. This “freedom” has now been reaffirmed and deepened in the negotiating package on “competitiveness”.

The PCP draws attention to the seriousness of the decisions that have been taken within the framework of the negotiation packages on competitiveness, social benefits and the freedom of movements. Their content, as well as the institutional framework that has been found for their implementation – with the envisaged review of EU legislation and even of its Treaties, in what concerns the freedom of movement, social and labour rights – represent a direct attack against the income of workers, namely of migrants, open the road to further social dumping and the withdrawal of social benefits from all workers and, finally, institutionalize in the so-called “union law” the discrimination of workers and citizens according to their nationality and social conditions. This is a reactionary and xenophobic course which destroys all the propaganda regarding a European Union of “freedom”, “cohesion” and “tolerance”. To speak, as the Portuguese government has done, of supposed safeguards and deadlines for implementation, is to try and mitigate what cannot, due to its cruelty and seriousness, be mitigated.

The discussion and the decisions that have now been taken by the institutions of the European Union and by the British Government clearly show that the referendum in Great Britain is seen as an instrument to manage contradictions and to try and whitewash the reactionary nationalist course of the British ruling classes, with the agreement, that has now been confirmed, of the European Union institutions and of the Governments that have a seat in the European Council. The content and the form of the decisions taken confirm that the British referendum has been and will be used to create, with even greater intensity now, an unacceptable web of blackmail and pressure upon the British people, which seeks to condition its sovereign will.

Despite the fact that the process is a farse and of its unacceptable reactionary course which seeks to limit key factors of profound crisis in the process of capitalist integration, the negotiation process shows that it is possible to change and even subvert the European Union Treaties and Legislation, when this is to the benefit of the interests of big finance capital and of the need to overcome contradictions between economic powers and save the supranational mechanisms of political and economic domination – such as the Euro or the mechanisms envisaged in the Banking Union. The “flexibility” which is now on display in the “Brexit” case is in stark contrast with the unacceptable rigidity and inflexibility in relation to the extremely serious social crisis and with the pressure and blackmail that continues to be exerted against countries such as Portugal, as has been all too clear during the debate on the [Portuguese] State Budget for 2016.

Regardless of their nature and contradictions, the decisions that have now been taken put an end to the myth that it is impossible to adapt the status of each Member State to national specificities and to the will of its people, with the possibility of establishing the necessary opt-outs, exceptions or specific safeguards, regarding the common policies, the domestic market, the Treaties – which as has now been proved can be reversed – the pacts and all the other EU legislation.

3. The PCP highlights the adoption by the European Council of recommendations for the Euro Zone, within the scope of the European semester, and stresses that their political guidelines confirm the continuation of a path of destruction of productive systems, divestment, attacks against social and labour rights, concentration and centralization of capital and impoverishment of the masses of the workers and peoples, which makes any strategy to relaunch economic growth impossible.

4. The decisions of the Council regarding migrations clarify, in an explicit and shameless way, the essence of the European Union’s migration policy – the closing down of external borders and the expulsion of all those who manage to make it to European Union territory.

The conclusions of the Council not only lend support to the worst practices, which in words are regretted by those responsible for the EU’s institutions, as they put forth a militarist and militarized vision and solution for a humanitarian problem. Example of this is the European Council’s rejoicing with NATO’s intervention, namely in the Aegean Sea, in close collaboration with FRONTEX, and the demand that Turkey takes further measures to prevent the crossings and to contain the migration flows. Such decisions starkly counter international law, which protects and gives rights to refugees and asylum-seekers, and is a harbinger of criminal maritime actions which may result in thousands of deaths. In this context, the PCP expresses its frontal opposition to the Portuguese Government’s decision to collaborate with NATO’s mission in the Aegean Sea, as well as to the Prime Minister’s stated agreement with the creation of the so-called “European Coast Guard”.

The migration policy which is now cold-heartedly reaffirmed and systematized, does not recognize neither rights nor choices for refugees, even for those that ask for asylum, namely through the “blue card”, with which Member-states will exercise their discretionary rights of “hosting” refugees, transforming a legal obligation of humanitarian assistance into a system of selective imports of cheap, skilled labour force, which will give priority to those with higher qualifications.

It is this “solidarity” policy that the EU has to offer for the so-called migration crisis, a humanitarian drama with millions of refugees in North Africa and the Middle East, which nurtures the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people that seek in Europe to escape from hunger, poverty, persecution, war. This storm is a direct result of the EU’s policy of interventions, in association with the USA and NATO and their policies of military aggression and interference in various conflicts in those regions, prominent among them the interventions in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. These are criminal neo-colonial policies that seek to destabilize the Arab world in order to ensure the geo-strategic control of those regions. ... -solution/

Morning Star:

No time to entrust Britain’s future to a bureaucratic finance-capital cabal
Saturday 27th
posted by Morning Star in Features

JOHN HAYLETT explains why he believes the only sensible vote in the referendum for trade unionists and socialists is to withdraw from the EU

TWENTY-EIGHT years since French diplomat Jacques Delors was invited to the TUC Congress at Bournemouth to schmooze delegates about the delights of a “social Europe,” the penny still hasn’t dropped with many in the trade union movement.

Only rail unions Aslef and RMT, together with the bakers’ BFAWU, have thrown their weight behind the movement to leave the EU.

The rest either play the Emperor’s New Clothes game of claiming still to be able to discern a “social Europe” or accept that things aren’t too good but suggest they can be changed.

The TUC has just published a piece by Michael Pigeon warning of 10 “workers’ rights at risk if we leave.”

These include paid holidays, equal rights for part-time workers, parental rights, equal pay for equal work, working time limits, health and safety standards and protection from discrimination.

Paid holidays have existed in Britain since the 1871 Bank Holidays Act and were widespread, largely through collective bargaining, long before the EU working time directive was passed in 2003.

The EU employment equality directive was issued in 2000, but before that we had the 1970 Equal Pay Act, the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, the 1976 Race Relations Act and the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act — all agreed by the Westminster Parliament without input from Brussels.

EU directives on paternity leave, the 48-hour working week and rules on transfers of undertakings when a company is taken over all had to be enacted at Westminster to take effect.

Leaving the EU does not mean that they would automatically fall. Any government that wanted to end these measures would have to go through the same legislative process to repeal them.

In addition, John Major negotiated a full opt-out from the social chapter enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty, while Tony Blair did similarly with the 48-hour weekly limit in the working time directive.

Former probation officers’ union leader and TUC general council member Judy McKnight now sits on the tripartite EU economic & social committee.

She draws a clear line between the approach taken by David Cameron in his negotiations with the other 27 EU states and that of trade unionists, which might well have been expected.

But McKnight goes one step beyond by saying that British trade unionists want a future as “part of the EU, part of a Europe that is based on the principles of solidarity.”

This, to her, means “working with the council, the commission and employers to promote greener and fairer growth by boosting investment, productivity and living standards and by promoting social and employment rights, including fair terms for labour mobility, not by joining in a race to the bottom.”

This, presumably, is the same EU that nailed the Greek working class to the wall, ordering its government to privatise huge swathes of the public sector and to slash jobs, salaries and pensions as the price of bailing out the largely foreign-owned private banking sector.

The EU Commission, European Central Bank and other “partners” don’t seem to have been reading the same dream-world script that McKnight and her colleagues share.

It isn’t just Greece. The dominant EU power is Germany, which has insisted for almost a decade on a strict neoliberal economic policy.

It cut living standards and benefit entitlement for German workers to reduce employment costs and boost exports, but its single-minded ruthless approach has had a more severe effect further afield.

So-called peripheral nations such as Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Italy and Greece have borne the brunt of the monetarist orthodoxy that has wrecked jobs, living standards and the public sector.

Italy shares with Greece the “honour” of having its elected government turfed out to be replaced by an EU-approved board of technocrats — in reality, bankers, the very people who precipitated the global economic crisis.

These countries, in common with Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, now face a future of exporting their youth to the more powerful economies of western and northern Europe, sending remittances home to dependents.

One of Cameron’s most headline-grabbing “demands” at the negotiations was to end for four years the right of migrant workers in Britain to send child benefits back to their home countries.

His inability to push through this nasty measure excited some derision from right-wing anti-EU opponents who said that he “promised to get half a loaf, begged for a crust and came home with crumbs.”

However, this ignores Cameron’s real success in securing immunity from EU regulation for the City of London, thus confirming the interests he really represents and repaying the finance sector for its support.

While the Prime Minister succeeded where it mattered most to him and his closest colleagues, he did nothing to alter a situation where unscrupulous British employers recruit workers in other EU states to work here, often at unfeasibly low rates.

His rhetoric about wanting to restrict immigration from other EU states wins a political trick in persuading some British workers that Bulgarian or Romanian workers are the main problem rather than a rapacious capitalist class.

Construction companies have been to the fore in opposing Britain’s exit from the EU, precisely because of the labour issue.

“The longer-term impact is that it will potentially cause issues around skills and the availability of labour, which is a big problem anyway,” one employer told Inside Housing.

Engineering construction union GMB is organising three demonstrations this Tuesday in Port Talbot, Rotherham and Dunbar at three energy-related sites in protest at the undercutting of the nationally agreed skilled workers’ rate of £16.64 an hour.

According to the EU posted workers directive, contractors employing labour from third countries should follow national agreements, but the rate for skilled workers on these jobs is around £7 an hour.

The GMB notes that employers are increasingly ignoring this legal requirement and is livid about this example of social dumping.

Its argument is not with workers coming to Britain but with employers paying them less than half the going rate.

So where is the legal remedy for the union and its thousands of members denied the right to work on installations for which they are trained, capable and ready?

The European Court of Justice may not be too much help, having already approved in its Viking, Laval, Ruffert and similar rulings the right of employers to sidestep national agreements by bringing in workers paid at the rate applicable in their homeland.

So much for the near-mythical social Europe and the “principles of solidarity” evoked by McKnight and others.

Social Europe belongs to another age — certainly before the Lisbon Treaty was implemented in 2009, since when the mantra has been “competitiveness,” emulating the German example of a slimmed-down state and higher productivity to increase profitability and shareholder dividends.

The sinister, secret negotiations taking place at present to create a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free-trade agreement between the US and the EU are part of that programme.

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem is responsible for those negotiations that will be binding on Britain and every other member state even though she is neither elected by nor accountable to any electorate.

She has consulted widely — or at least as widely as the membership of the European Roundtable of Industrialists, which is the source of much EU legislation advanced by the equally unelected and unaccountable European Commission.

We know that it will allow big business to sue national governments in special non-domestic courts over action that affects their profits.

None of this should surprise anyone. The EU DNA was discernible in the 1956 Rome Treaty that set up the Common Market, which purported to be a free-trade area but was always intended as a political union superstate.

Fantasists such former Syriza finance minister Yanis Varoufakis may float EU democratisation projects such as his own Democracy in Europe pipe-dream, but there is no mechanism for remaking the EU — and deliberately so.

The European Parliament isn’t a parliament. It can’t propose laws. That right is reserved to the Commission. MEPs cannot change the direction of the EU.

It is not time for Britain — nor, it could equally be said, for other states — to entrust the future of its people to the vagaries of a bureaucratic finance-capital cabal.

The only sensible vote in the referendum for trade unionists and socialists is to withdraw from the EU.

John Haylett is Morning Star political editor.

New CP of Britain:

Vote NO to the EU!

ANY ILLUSIONS about the possibility of reforming the European Union (EU) must surely have been shattered by the outcome of the Prime Minister’s marathon talks in Brussels. David Cameron may claim that now “Britain will be permanently out of ever-closer union, never part of a European super-state, there will be tough new restriction for access to our welfare system for migrants, no more something for nothing.” But everyone else can see that his attempt to renegotiate the terms on which Britain will remain a member of the European Union has ended with a minor but vindictive attack on migrants’ benefits and a vacuous recognition of Britain’s “special status” within the Union.

The ruling class has long been divided over the European Union. Some want to align British imperialism with Franco— German imperialism within the European bloc. Others still hanker for the “special relationship” with the United States, and the supposed role that British imperialism can play as the “bridge” between the American and European imperialist blocs. These divisions have now split the Tories wide open.

Cameron’s words have been pounced on with glee by the Eurosceptics within and far beyond the Tory faithful. Six Cabinet ministers immediately joined the ranks of the “Brexit” campaign that until now had been dominated by Nigel Farage and the motley crew of racists, homophobes and chauvinists within his UKIP party. Boris Johnson has belatedly joined the Tory rebels in the mistaken belief that this will further his own dreams of leadership.

Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed that Labour will continue its long-standing support for the EU and campaign to remain within the Union.

Cameron now has to defend continued British membership of the EU at the referendum on 23rd June in the face of a vociferous opposition from Eurosceptic Tory grandees. He clearly will have to rely on the backing of Labour and the Scottish Nationalists to win.

For years Labour and the majority of the leaders of our unions have elevated the EU as an instrument for social progress and economic advance. They say that the EU is becoming more representative through the authority of the European “Parliament” and establishment of regional autonomy. The Social-Democrats claim that the anti-working class “directives” and “rulings” can be reversed. The revisionist and left social-democratic circles that still pose as communists in some parts of Europe argue that the EU can be reformed to serve the interests of working people.

In fact the EU is a European Chamber of Commerce writ large, aiming to build a super-state with super powers for the industrialists, cartels and banks to intensify the exploitation and oppression of the millions of workers within its frontiers.

The development of the Common Market and the EU that followed was the choice of Franco—German imperialism and western European monopoly capital. It promotes neo-liberal measures favouring the monopolies, and the concentration and accumulation of capital. It cannot represent a genuine counterweight to US imperialism in favour of the people.

The New Communist Party has been opposed to the Common Market and the EU that followed since its foundation in 1977. We support the efforts of the new Trade Unionists Against the EU movement and we will call for a NO vote at the referendum. But we will never close ranks with the reactionaries and racists at the helm of the major NO vote campaign.

The European Union is neither genuinely federal nor democratic, and every stage of European integration has been financed by working people through higher indirect taxes, lost jobs and lost benefits. The European Union cannot be reformed — it must be dissolved and the Treaty of Rome, which established the Common Market in the first place, and all addenda repealed. ... he_eu.html

Socialist Voice (CP of Ireland):

EU membership: a challenge for the serious left

Tommy McKearney
It is being reported that some Scots intend voting Yes in the British referendum dealing with Britain’s membership of the European Union. Apparently their decision is based on the rather shaky principle that if a significant number of English people wish to leave, they will vote to remain.
Something similar may happen in the North of Ireland as a result of boorish statements from senior members of the DUP, who prefer to criticise a hapless Taoiseach than to wrestle with austerity-inflicting Tories.
While it is possible to understand the resulting resentment, it would be short-sighted not to deliver a better-judged verdict on the real nature and purpose of the European Union during David Cameron’s “in-out” referendum. It would also be an unforgivable blunder to allow the far right to dominate an argument that socialists cannot ignore.
Moreover, the EU is in the throes of a series of crises that may well determine much of Europe for decades to come.
The European Union, from its foundation, has been a structure designed to facilitate capitalism and to promote imperialist objectives. When originally set up in the 1950s as the Common Market it had as its primary purpose the creation of economic co-operation between western European states hostile to the Soviet Union. In spite of adopting a social-democratic programme in its early phase, it had a clear but unspoken objective of curtailing socialism.
Many on the left recognised the institution for what it was and drew attention (with disappointingly little impact) to the threat posed by the presence of NATO coupled to a political bloc fundamentally committed to maintaining free-market economies.
Two main factors accounted for the left’s lack of influence. Fearing the influence of the USSR, coupled with the impact of post-war western European communist parties, the ruling elite made strategic concessions to the working class. This, together with a raised standard of living achieved by the super-exploitation of the Third World, meant that for many years Europe’s rulers were able to contain discontent.
For reasons well known to readers of Socialist Voice, the EU’s ruling elite has retreated over the past four decades from the post-war social-democratic arrangement. More recently, attacks on workers’ living standards have intensified under a neo-liberal agenda. As circumstances have changed, the widespread tolerance, if not quite approval, that once existed for the EU among Europe’s working class has come under significant challenge.
The reasons for growing disenchantment are not hard to find. Capitalist free markets bring with them the inevitability of crises, such as that triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. By enforcing the fiscal and monetary straitjacket resulting in particular from the treaties of Maastricht and Lisbon, the EU orchestrated an era of austerity as a response to the financial crash and subsequent recession.
The result for working-class communities in many parts of Europe has ranged from painful to calamitous. Unemployment rose steeply in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, and Greece, and the hard-won social welfare safety net was cut to the bone. Most hurtful is the growing realisation that this situation is not a temporary aberration but is the new standard.
Not surprisingly, the enforcement of neo-liberal policies has caused resentment, and new, though often disjointed, protest movements have emerged in many countries, including Ireland. Nor is the discontent confined to the so-called peripheral countries. A radical movement opposed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership¹ has grown in strength in Germany over the past few years and recently staged one of the largest demonstrations ever seen in that country.
Against this background of discontent with the economic management of the EU, conservatives (and not just the far right) throughout the continent are stirring up hysteria against the waves of refugees fleeing war in the Middle East.
So concerned are some establishment-leaning commentators that they are going so far as to suggest that these difficulties may lead to the break-up of the European Union. Prof. Mark Mazower, writing in the Financial Times, said: “The union faces a deep crisis of institutional legitimacy.”² He listed the main areas of contention as high rates of youth unemployment, secular stagnation, and disagreement over refugees, leading possibly to a collapse of the Schengen agreement. The professor didn’t include a British exit from the EU, but he might well have.
In spite of the problems confronting EU heads of government and their bureaucrats, there is little doubt that the current European ruling class will strive to maintain an entity that has served it well for so long. Moreover, present indications are that they will endeavour to do so by moving further to the right. Using increasingly authoritarian methods, whether financial, fiscal, or armed force, they will hope to simultaneously outmanoeuvre both the populist right and meandering social democrats. There are already clear signs that leading EU governments are employing increasingly reactionary and anti-democratic practices.
In the light of this it has to be stated that the EU is not going through a temporary phase of turbulence that can and will be corrected if and when, that “better and improved policies are adopted if the right people are put in place.” The EU is not like a dysfunctional family that can be improved by the application of therapy and a measure of good advice. The EU is doing what it was designed to do, and will continue doing so unless and until it is replaced by a different construction.
The forthcoming referendum promised by David Cameron provides the serious left with a challenge that cannot be avoided. With heightened interest in the debate, it is important to avail of an opportunity to make people throughout Ireland aware of the nature and purpose of the EU and simultaneously to offer a realistic socialist alternative. It is crucial, therefore, that the debate doesn’t get sidetracked into secondary issues or become distorted by right-wing, xenophobic ranting (nor that anyone should support the EU because that might annoy the DUP).
A century after the 1916 Rising it would be timely and important to remind Irish people that control by the EU of monetary and fiscal policy, and a growing military commitment, are incompatible with the existence of a “sovereign, independent state” capable of defending the well-being of its citizens.
It might also be timely to rework an old adage from that revolutionary era and point out that the EU’s difficulties could and should become an opportunity for the working class in Ireland and abroad. As a first step we need to engage energetically in the debate, providing a left critique of the EU that emphasises its core function and worrying future developments. As always, any critique also requires the outline of the realistic alternative offered by socialism.

1. Lee Williams, “What is TTIP? And six reasons why the answer should scare you,” Independent (London), 6 October 2015.
2. Mark Mazower, “Lessons from the past are key to Europe’s survival,” Financial Times, 23 January 2016.

John Wight:

The collapse of the centre ground and Brexit
Posted by John Wight on 24 February, 2016

The timing of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU could not be better for those on the right and far right of the political spectrum. In the wake of a refugee crisis, which has seen public sympathy for the plight of the huge numbers of people fleeing conflict and chaos in the Middle East and North Africa turn first to apathy and now to something approaching hostility in many quarters, combined with the collapse of the centre ground across Europe and the US, which I explore in detail here, the prospects of Brexit coming to pass are greater now than they have ever been.

This collapse of the centre ground has not only benefited the right, of course. In the US, while the odious Donald Trump looks a shoe-in for the Republican Party nomination while spouting the kind of rhetoric which in a civilised society would seen him institionalised rather than lauded as a future president, Bernie Sanders has also attracted huge support, evidence that socialism and socialist ideas are no longer taboo in the land of the free. Sanders, in fact, has lit up the Democratic Party primaries with a camopaign that has seen the 74 year old democratic socialist senator from Vermont trounce Hillary Clinton in debate after debate.

But back to the UK and the EU referendum, where despite the attempt by a section of the left to assert that Brexit would make the prospect of implementing progressive and socialist ideas easier – specifically when it comes to taking key industries and services into public ownership – the reality is that the beneficiaries of Brexit would be the right and far right. The politics driving Brexit are the ugly politics of anti immigration, xenophobia, and British nationalism. If successful it would propel the vile reactionary views and worldview of people like Nigel Farage into the heart of the establishment, ensuring that already under pressure minority communities would find themselves placed under even more pressure.

The EU and its insitutions merely reflect the economic and political hegemony of neoliberalism. They are a transmission belt delivering policies which reflect this hegemony, which will remain a fact of life the day after Brexit. This is why those on the left who are intent on campaiging for a No vote on June 23 are playing into the hands of Nigel Farage and UKIP, allowing themselves to be recruited as unwitting footsoldiers for the far right.

There is also the Corbyn factor to consider. At a time when Labour under his leadership is garnering such huge support across the country, and with the Tories in complete disarray over the EU, for anyone on the left to oppose Corbyn over the EU now is tantamount to sectarianism of the worst kind.

There is no viable socialist or progressive case for Britain’s exit from the EU in the present political climate. There is only surrender to right wing nostrums on immigration, multiculturalism, and something called British values. ... el-farage/
Post 01 Mar 2016, 16:57
It would be to their own benefit if UK remains a member of the European Union. Nobody wants to buy their exports which are available in other European states due to the unaffordable exchange rates of the British pound. London might be dynamic and developing because of the tourist trade but look at the countryside and the suburbs. All you see is poverty.
Post 15 Mar 2016, 15:16
A future for Britain


At last the EU referendum is at hand. On 23 June workers can make the most important blow against capitalism in Britain in 70 years by voting to leave.

Forget all the fluff about which politicians or personalities are for in or out. Overwhelmingly those representing the interests of capitalism – especially finance capitalism – are for staying in. Of course they are. Capitalists love it because it belongs to them – it was designed by them, for them, it serves only their interests and they are desperate for it to survive to continue that mission. Its very constitution enshrines the freedom of capitalism to rule, unfettered in every way.

The lie that the EU protects workers at all and that it can be improved from within – a lie shamefully peddled by unions such as Unite and by Frances O’Grady at the TUC – is so easily disproved that you have to wonder about their motives.

Britain’s EU membership has exerted a slowly tightening stranglehold over workers here. Gradually, control over all aspects of our lives and our capacity to determine the future of our country – our fundamental democracy – is being handed over to Brussels by successive governments. If we voted to stay in the EU this diktat (remember Greece?) would be rapidly accelerated, not only for Britain but for all member countries. We owe it to ourselves and to them to leave. A vote for the status quo is impossible.

In spite of our weaknesses, the working class here has shown an underlying strength through its constant undercurrent of opposition to the EU. The capitalist class knows it cannot easily get away with what it wants. For them, this referendum is a huge gamble.

A decision to leave the EU would be a new beginning to self-respect and independence for our class. We will be able at last to plan a future in which the distortions forced upon our economy by the EU can be steadily corrected. We can do the things we are good at, using the resources we have to hand. We can stop being “little Europeans” and begin to think globally – and hence trade, as equal partners, with Europe but also with the rest of the world.

Above all, we can make our own decisions and plan for a future. Governments come and go, but leaving the EU would hugely weaken capitalism and strengthen us.

Since its founding in 1968, this Party, the CPBML, has put the working class demand that Britain should not be part of a European superstate. We will continue, in meetings, through Workers and our website (see our new page,, and by putting the argument in trade unions and with fellow workers, to outline why this is right – not with the romantic wishful thinking often expressed by the europhiles, but by using hard facts and material reality to show why this must be the only choice.

Out of the EU!
Post 15 Mar 2016, 15:36 ... rendum.pdf

The CPBML has just published a new 8-page pamphlet outlining why a vote to leave the EU is vital in the June referendum. A PDF of the pamphlet is available online, and it will be distributed free of charge.

The pamphlet covers issues of sovereignty, treaties such as TTIP and TiSA, trade, union rights and borders – as well as the nightmare that would face us if the vote were to remain.
Post 19 Mar 2016, 00:34

Glasgow meeting discusses why to leave EU
A successful, well attended and reflective meeting was held by the CPBML in Glasgow on 10 March on the topic “Why trade unionists should vote to leave the EU”. The focus of the meeting was on the purpose of the EU – to support and facilitate global capitalism and therefore by definition to be destructive of workers’ interests – and the wide-ranging myths that surround it.

Contributions from the audience were wide-ranging and well informed, covering many reasons why a vote to leave was the only option for workers. The audience included representatives from the umbrella movement GO, the Grassroots Out campaign which is arguing for a Leave vote in the 23 June referendum.

The discussion continued after the close of the meeting and included the newly released CPBML pamphlet Out of the EU!, which was well received – so much so that members of the audience took large numbers of the pamphlet away for distribution.

British workers’ growing clarity on the EU in recent years, despite the multitudinous efforts to befuddle and bore them, was applauded and celebrated. At the same time the woolly, contradictory thinking, with which too many of our class and those they allow to lead the unions, are still beset, was exposed and condemned.

A failure to grasp the origins, purpose and impact of the EU works directly against the interests of working people everywhere and acts as a great fillip to global capitalism. It is essential that these woolly thinkers inform themselves properly on matters of, for example, health insurance, holiday entitlement, health and safety, pay, contracts and the reasons for, and effects of, migration both at home and abroad.

One speaker drew attention to the issues surrounding TTIP and TiSA, and the recent incomprehensible decision by the Scottish Trades Union Congress to support remaining in the EU despite their opposition to TTIP!

The speaker summarised a motion from three trades councils (Glasgow, Clydebank and Kilmarnock & Loudon) that will be debated at the congress when it meets in Dundee in April, and which argues that support for remaining in the EU is contrary to the policy of opposition to TTIP.
Post 19 Mar 2016, 00:59
Even as a fervent internationalist who thinks a pan-European organization is a great idea, a Brexit is probably for the best. The recent austerity crisis has exposed the failure of international organs being formed around neoliberal grounds. Ultimately they will end up instruments of financial exploitation.

So, Britain should leave, probably inspiring other countries to do the same. We can then use that vacuum for the creation of an alternate, collaboration-based instead of austerity-based European system. Because the EU's common defense and human rights policies are a good bulwark against another pan-European war, and much more widely supported than its economic policies. The City of London won't like it, Paris won't like it, Germany definitely won't like it, removing the economic core of Europeanism cuts into their bottom line. Hardline nationalists also won't like it, it's replacing one international body with another one. Aside from those select groups, it's in everyone else's best interest. And I feel it's highly plausible; if the pressure is clearly based mainly on economics, Europe's leadership would likely decide to weaken the economic provisions while maintaining some form of international body, if only for future potential restoration of said economic provisions.
Post 19 Mar 2016, 03:37
Based on moralistic grounds, Britain never had the legitimate excuse of becoming the richest country in Europe. Most of their wealth comes from arms deals which always presume that war would always be imminent and that she and America create internicine wars themselves.
Watch the movie SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad. "Do not quit trying to quit spying. It is ugly. Ugly indeed!"- lev.
Post 20 Mar 2016, 16:22
I support the idea of Britain staying in and playing for the Left of Europe. A Corbynist Labour together with Podemos, Syriza and a stronger Left could do much better than an isolated island who's international projection is washing away.

By the way, 8 pages panphlet?? Who's going to read that?
Post 21 Mar 2016, 22:04
By the way, 8 pages panphlet?? Who's going to read that?

The pamphlet is aimed at Trade Unionists principally. Well received .

I support the idea of Britain staying in and playing for the Left of Europe. A Corbynist Labour together with Podemos, Syriza and a stronger Left could do much better than an isolated island who's international projection is washing away.

Not the message we are getting from Trade Unionists around EU--Che. A report back from a fact finding ...... Fawzi Ibrahim ... -unionists
Post 23 Mar 2016, 14:26
Che Burashka wrote:
I support the idea of Britain staying in and playing for the Left of Europe. A Corbynist Labour together with Podemos, Syriza and a stronger Left could do much better than an isolated island who's international projection is washing away.

By the way, 8 pages panphlet?? Who's going to read that?

And what are Podemos and Syriza going to do? Podemos is unlikely to actually get into power. Syriza is in power, and look how that's working out.

The unfortunate fact at the moment is that the left isn't even close to having the initiative in this referendum discussion, regardless of whether it is for "in" or "out". Just look at how Corbyn simply surrendered on this issue. He gave the whole ground for discussion away to Cameron without a fight. He says he wants to get "reform" in Europe by cooperating with "progressives" Podemos, Syriza, etc., and he has taken on Varoufakis as an advisor. But Labour will always have its other foot in the hardcore Eurofederalist social-democratic movement, which is part of the grand coalition in the European Parliament.

It is therefore a lose-lose proposition to think that the left can reform the EU. Not only because the political forces governing the EU at present will not allow it, but more importantly, because the EU cannot be reformed for the benefit of the people. It has always been a capitalist project. If it does not guarantee freedom for capital, then it literally has no point. In a way, Podemos, Syriza, Corbyn, Varoufakis, etc. are even more dangerous than the old social-democrats, because they will push increased EU centralism and federalism from the left, under the illusion that it is somehow possible to fight against these institutions more effectively by strengthening them first.

In this negative correlation of forces, the left should realise that they're not going to turn the "Brexit" case leftwards, but they can still use the opportunity of the referendum to expose the true character of the EU amongst workers, trade unions, newly-joined Labour supporters, etc. And judging by the statements of communist parties, they are doing this to the best of their ability. But their room for operating is very small, since most of the left space in this discussion has been surrendered without a fight by Jeremy Corbyn.
Post 30 Mar 2016, 19:02
The benefits of immigration?
Just under ten years ago, a large industrial estate was built with EU regeneration money in Shirebrook, Mansfield, in what was once the north Nottinghamshire coalfield. The estate became home to the vast HQ of sports equipment firm Sports Direct.

The HQ employs around 5,000 people, almost all of them agency workers recruited directly from EU member states. Working conditions there are notorious, with zero hours contracts the norm. A BBC investigation discovered recently that ambulances were called to the site 76 times in nearly two years – 36 of them to “life-threatening illnesses”. Three of the calls regarded pregnancy difficulties, with one woman giving birth in the toilets at work. Former workers claim that employees are too frightened for their jobs to take a day off sick. Accidents in the warehouse have doubled in a year.

This ten-year EU “regeneration” project has contributed to Mansfield recently ranking as the fourth poorest town in Britain, with high benefit dependency and rock bottom wages. Local GPs and hospitals face much increased demand.

This rise in local employment of migrant labour has not led to wages being spent in the local shops and businesses as money is remitted back to Poland and other countries – the town centre is full of empty shops. Effectively, there is an unlimited supply of low-skilled low-wage labour.
Post 02 Apr 2016, 10:40
Remain, and simply for the very fact that the Britain's decision to leave will most vocally be built of the voices of xenophobia, if not downright racism. There is nothing social or logical about the campaign to leave as it stands: those who complain about everything wrong in the UK blame the EU. Amusingly some of the kipper types (let's be straight, their message of hyper-Thatcherism is exactly what the UK would look like if the exit occured) like to display some dazzling mental disconnection, almost hallucinatory when they say things like "why are we giving all this money to the EU when we've got homeless on the streets in Britain" - and then vote for fragging parties (the ones whose Britain we will be living in) whose policies have DOUBLED homelessness, it's nice and everything for people to have a social conscience, but to not back it up with any political or charity action is frankly brilliant.

I fundamentally don't see a problem in the pooling of resources in the EU, as most of the thing is to have regulations for the standardisation of commerce between countries - the only problem is that it is Merkel and that famous wing of the German government, the ECB, wields enormous power over the Eurozone under the auspices of the IMF and that she has been using the entire EU project illegally (like playing around with Schengen when it suits her ambitions). We can't confront that unless we're in it and push for a radically different government within the UK, I don't see the point in throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Another thing, the "Brexiters" have been campaigning since the mid 70s to have another referendum, yet not one of them agrees on what particular model of interaction with the EU including restoring whatever institutions they claim have been lost. That's right, 40 years or more of constant xenophobic hand-wringing and nobody can come up with a clear answer - they have a bunch of Tories leading the way, and Farage who is most famous for practically inventing EU legislation on the spot, believing withdrawing would be some kind of panacea to all of the UK's problems.

Edit: In the pub tonight, I heard more about Pakis and Niggers than I did anything at all about the EU as a reason to leave the EU. Pardon me, I am just reporting,
Post 04 Apr 2016, 16:19 ... 7309261935

Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor, has been appointed to the board of directors at Morgan Stanley, the US-based financial services firm. Darling is a prominent member of the campaign backing Britain to remain within the EU.

Gordon Brown is to join global investment firm Pimco’s advisory board, joining an ex-chairman of the US Federal Reserve and an ex-president of the European Central Bank. Brown announced earlier this year that he was bowing out of Westminster politics at the May election and would instead focus on charity work and his role as a United Nations envoy. Not true, was it?

Anyone want more proof that the parliamentary Labour Party is just part of the establishment, an arm of the capitalist state?

Image ... -movement/ ... -left-vote
Post 13 Apr 2016, 18:14
Manchester meeting discusses why workers should vote to leave ... vote-leave


On 7 April the CPBML held a meeting in Manchester on the referendum to provide friends and colleagues with an opportunity to find out more about the nature of the EU and the reasons why workers should vote to leave.
Post 20 Apr 2016, 22:39
if we stay then we are still supporting the fascists, and i dont want the fascists to be supported. call me delusional but after WWIII Europe is going to become a autocratic totalitarian nation, one single nation. and everyone in it will have the same average wage as what some one in Kenya would have today
Post 21 Apr 2016, 05:50
The number one reason why Brexit is necessary is that it will fundamentally destabilize the entire EU. Anglo participation, and its attendant imperial revenues, are critical for the EU to maintain its hegemony.

I am sympathetic to LPC's fear of simply handing a political victory to the forces of reaction (as they lead the charge for Brexit) and it certainly will be a victory for them. But reaction is irrational, idiotic even, and will not only sell us the rope to hang them with they'll tie it around their own throats and build the gallows. Versus the rational and stable leadership of the EU which could stomp out pretty much any revolution in Europe as long as it is strong.
Post 25 Apr 2016, 18:51
Dagoth Ur wrote:
The number one reason why Brexit is necessary is that it will fundamentally destabilize the entire EU. Anglo participation, and its attendant imperial revenues, are critical for the EU to maintain its hegemony.

I am sympathetic to LPC's fear of simply handing a political victory to the forces of reaction (as they lead the charge for Brexit) and it certainly will be a victory for them. But reaction is irrational, idiotic even, and will not only sell us the rope to hang them with they'll tie it around their own throats and build the gallows. Versus the rational and stable leadership of the EU which could stomp out pretty much any revolution in Europe as long as it is strong.

I agree. Thus, even Tsar Nikolai II was deserved a medal for furthering the course of Revolution !
Post 30 Apr 2016, 08:37
Out of the EU! Rebuild Britain!

CPBML May Day Meetings
Sunday 1 May 2016 19:30 to Monday 2 May 2016 18:30
Add to Calendar
MayDay2016.pdf ... ay2016.pdf

Join us to celebrate May Day. We have meetings on 1 May in Leeds and London, and on 2 May in Edinburgh. See our leaflet for full details.

London: 1 May, 7.30 pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL

Leeds: 1 May, 7.30 Sovereign Suite, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Lower Briggate, LS1 4AE

Edinburgh: 2 May 6.30 pm, World Power Bookshop, 43 West Nicolson Street, EH8 9DB

On the outcome of the referendum vote in June hangs the foreseeable future of Britain. Will we strike out on our own, set our own priorities, and run our own country? Or will we surrender to monopoly capitalism?

Workers of all lands, unite! Destroy the EU!

All welcome
Post 04 May 2016, 12:18
EU: Why do Cameron's bidding?


“Some say better Brussels runs our affairs than the Tories,” a speaker at the London May Day rally of the CPBML. “But if you are worried about what the Conservative government might do, why vote for what it wants?”

In a blistering attack on the European Union, the speaker also dealt with the argument that if we left, the government would seize the chance to destroy workers’ rights: “If we voted to stay in, we would give Cameron the green light to destroy us – and the EU would, as ever, do nothing to stop him.”

On the subject of rights, the speaker noted that the key workers’ right is the right to work. “Ask the Greeks, ask young Spaniards, young Portuguese, what the EU has done to protect their right to work…The EU causes mass unemployment. The EU is not the solution, it is the problem.”

The EU is unreformable, he said. “We can’t influence the EU from the inside – governments have tried and failed, or perhaps just talked and failed. Before we even joined the EEC, Harold Macmillan talked of reforming it. Thirty years ago, Neil Kinnock talked of reforming it. Cameron’s recent failure to get a deal proved yet again that we have no influence and that the EU cannot change and will not change.”

After attacking the EU’s agricultural policies for impoverishing African farmers, causing, famine, disease, war and mass migration, he turned to TTIP. “A vote to stay in the EU would bring TTIP closer. President Obama tells us that leaving the EU means no TTIP for us. Thank you, Mr President!”

The same doomsayers predicting disaster for Britain after a no vote were around in Norway before its vote in 1994 on whether to join the EU. The government there said that the economy would tank if Norwegians voted no. They voted no, and – as a Norwegian paper noted – “growth has increased, the budget deficit has evaporated and investments are rocketing sky high.”

See the full speech here. ... speech.pdf

Scottish TUC failure
Earlier, another speaker had detailed the failure of the Scottish TUC to recognise the reality of what the European Union means for workers. In a wide-ranging review of politics and the unions in Scotland, he linked the campaign for Scottish independence with the European Union’s drive to break up nation states through separatism and regionalism.

Many individual delegates were clearly opposed to the European Union, but were dragooned at the Scottish TUC to voting in line with instructions from their out-of-touch executive councils.

Further evidence of the increasing gap between the Scottish TUC and the needs of workers came with a vote ignoring the plea from GMB workers to preserve the highly skilled workforce engaged in marine and naval shipbuilding along the Clyde, including at the Faslane naval base. Instead the conference ploughed ahead with a utopian motion sacrificing these skilled workers on the altar of an unworkable plan for “turning swords into ploughshares”.

An independent Britain needs its own defence industry, said the speaker, and not one controlled by the US
Post 10 May 2016, 08:49
My position's changed to "remain." I support the movement to exit, it's a necessary pressure on the EU. The plausible threat to leave is the only way to scare the Eurocrats into necessary democratic reforms, like increasing the European Parliament's power. In the long run, I'm sure we can also go further than that, like replacing the EU as presently constituted with a European system not based on neoliberalism.

But, Britain is the main bulwark against centralization of power around Germany. In the short-term, a British exit means consolidation of power around Merkel and the austerity ghouls surrounding her. We can no longer count on gridlock between feuding national bourgeois factions weakening austerity. While Britain would obviously be one of the first countries to try and bolt from the EU, their euroskepticism is exactly why it's helpful for the rest of Europe that they remain. Adding to that UKIP's neo-Thatcherites being galvanized in Britain, and the prospects from a "Yes" victory are worrisome.

I do still support the Swexit proposal, which will likely fail if Britain's does but lacks the "primary bulwark against Germany's power has left" problem. It's just a black eye to the European leadership, full stop. I also firmly supported a Grexit.
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Privacy.
[ Top ]