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Socialist Case for Exit

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1034/28874

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 March 2019

"Thatcherism on a continental scale" - trade unionists debate the EU

No to EU austerity, photo Paul Mattsson

No to EU austerity, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

An 'EU - Should We Stay or Should We Go?' debate was organised by Nottingham and Mansfield trade union council. Over 70 people attended the 26 February meeting.

Socialist Party member and former Labour MP Dave Nellist introduced the socialist Leave case, a Brexit in the interests of the working class. He said that the referendum result was a revolt against decades of suffering by working-class people and the effects of the 2007-2008 economic crash.

He explained that transport union RMT, Northern Ireland public sector union Nipsa and the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) had presented a socialist, pro-worker, internationalist Leave position during the 2016 referendum. Unfortunately this was drowned out by pro-austerity, capitalist and racist Remain and Leave campaigns.

The European Union is Thatcherism on a continental scale.

It is run by 28 heads of government. 18 or 19 are Tories or worse. And the 28 commissioners are appointed by them.

The single market has pursued the fragmentation of public services and privatisation. The EU defines healthcare as an 'economic activity', so it can be privatised.

EU rules present barriers to nationalisation. Although a determined socialist government and workers' movement could overcome these obstacles, they could become an unnecessary distraction.

Factories are relocated around Europe pursuing lower wage bills for workers. And it would pose serious hurdles to Jeremy Corbyn's 2017 anti-austerity manifesto.

This is why the capitalist class do not want to leave the EU. May's deal leaves the UK signed up to these anti-worker agreements and is in many ways a Brexit-in-name-only.

Dave Nellist said the priority for socialists was to fight for a general election. The Tory party is splintering. We need Corbyn and the unions to organise demonstrations and strikes to bring down the government.

But these proposals to fight for a general election were missing when Ed Maltby, from Another Europe is Possible, introduced the argument to Remain in the EU. He argued that we don't get a showdown with the EU by leaving.

Socialist Party members made the point that whether working-class people voted Leave or Remain, they are suffering exactly the same under austerity and the Tories' 'hostile environment'. They can be united by a movement with socialist policies - taking the rich resources in society and using them in the interests of working people.

Clare Wilkins, Nottingham Socialist Party

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 20 March 2019:


What we think

May's government facing endgame


News

End austerity. Fight for a living wage!

New Zealand mosque terror atrocity

Top unis threaten cuts if tuition fees

Cash-strapped schools now 'fourth emergency service'


Climate walkouts

Youth strikes show the way - mass action can oust Tories

Massive protests over catastrophic climate change


Workplace news

Victory for Birmingham bin workers

PCS civil servants' union: Vote Yes to strike for better pay

Midlands machine bearing makers launch all-out strike

Hackney school bus workers walk out


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party's Sue Atkins wins big support for anti-cuts, socialist policies

Union fightback key to movement against racism and austerity

Trade unionists debate the EU

Socialist Party Northern conference: Workers are sick of cuts and have the power to fight back

Stop cuts to women's services in Leicester

Help build the workers' press: send May Day greetings to the Socialist!


International socialist news and analysis

Spanish state: Historic 8 March action


Opinion

Exhibition: Don McCullin - a life in pictures

The Socialist Inbox

Theatre: Banner Theatre's Nottingham 'Free for All'


 

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