Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1059/29676

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 October 2019

Brexit theatrics continue - working class must fight for its own interests

No to austerity and privatisation, whether from Boris, Blairites or Brussels! photo S. German

No to austerity and privatisation, whether from Boris, Blairites or Brussels! photo S. German   (Click to enlarge)

As 'Brexit Day' on 31 October approaches, the roller coaster crisis for British capitalism intensifies.

Spokespeople of big business - the majority of whom want to remain in the EU - are ramping up the warnings of a no-deal Brexit. The Institute for Fiscal Studies warns of the highest UK debt since the 1960s. The Financial Times highlights the warnings from the HMRC of an admin burden of 15 billion on British-EU trade, even before there are any tariffs.

"New deal or no deal - but no delay" is Tory prime minister Boris Johnson's brazen pledge.

His ploy is that he stands 'with the people' against the "Remainer elite". As well as parliament and the courts at home, he is trying to blame the EU for the impasse. He hopes this would enable him to blame any failure to exit on 31 October on the EU and on his political opponents. In this way, he hopes to see off any threat from Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in a general election.

The divisions rife in the Tory party have come to the fore again with disquiet about the way talks are being presented to the British press, which EU president Donald Tusk has lambasted as a "stupid blame game".

As nothing is predictable in this long-running farce, none of the possible outcomes can be ruled out. One of Johnson's several defeats in parliament was the passing of the 'Benn Act' which requires the prime minister to request an extension if there is no agreement reached by 19 October.

The Court of Sessions in Edinburgh has rejected an application for a court order to force Johnson to do this, because the judge concluded that his pledge to carry it out was "unequivocal".

Nonetheless, debate continues as to whether Johnson could challenge the Benn Act in court, or perhaps persuade one of the 27 other EU states to refuse to grant an extension, as the decision has to be unanimous.

It may be possible he could get a deal passed by parliament, with votes from the DUP, some right-wing pro-Brexit Labour MPs, and some returning Tory rebels. But a deal can only go to parliament if it has been agreed by the EU, and the wrangling between EU leaders and Number 10 goes on.

Johnson's alternative deal is no real alternative, but the theatrics of putting it do serve the appearance of seeking Brexit by any means necessary. The pretence of Johnson's proposal is that it provides an alternative to the Irish backstop, which was the main sticking point in Theresa May's failed deal.

The backstop essentially meant that the UK would remain in close alignment with the EU single market and customs union until trade arrangements were agreed that would solve the problem of a border on the island of Ireland. Any loose arrangement is opposed by the EU because it would mean the potential for goods to enter and leave the EU, avoiding customs, via a porous border in Ireland.

But, in addition to economic impacts in Ireland of tariffs, paperwork and so on between north and south - the dairy industry in Northern Ireland, for example, says it faces a "doomsday scenario" - politically the notion of a border opens up enormous potential conflict.

Johnson's plan is for a new all-Ireland regulatory zone, and to leave Northern Ireland in the single market but not the customs union - a fudge with potentially two borders! The EU has rejected this 'deal' because of the border issue, and because of the effective veto given to the DUP in the promise that the NI executive could revoke the regulatory area.

It is a sign that the Tories recognise a deal is not likely that at the start of this week they stepped up their preparations for a general election.

Jeremy Corbyn

While this capitalist crisis explodes, Jeremy Corbyn has been leading cross-party talks "to prevent a damaging no-deal". This has included discussing an emergency motion to take control of House of Commons business.

It is reported that the 21 Tory rebel MPs who participate in these talks are not convinced, because they don't want Corbyn to lead an emergency government. The Lib Dems, scandalously given Jo Swinson's hostility to Corbyn, claim that "their total unwillingness to work with anyone else makes the Labour Party the biggest barrier to stopping no-deal."

It is still possible that the idea of a 'national unity' caretaker government, discussed by LibDems and remainer Tories as a way of both stopping Brexit and stopping Corbyn, could be proposed.

But it is an indication of the seriousness of the situation that sections of the capitalists are even prepared to countenance a Corbyn government. A joint statement by the IFS and investment bank Citi says the economy could be 5% bigger under Labour than the Tories by 2022.

To a section of the capitalists, it might be better to allow a Corbyn government, contained by the Blairites in the Labour Party and under the pressure of big business to not implement anything too radical, than to allow a no-deal Brexit managed by a crisis-ridden Tory Party.

Some capitalists will be considering the potential mass rebellion that could develop against the Tories and the risk of that anger being harnessed by a Corbyn-led party to the left.

It should not be for the labour movement to choose between any anti-working-class alternatives. The working class is not responsible for getting capitalism out of its mess - we need to fight for our own independent interests.

Instead of turning to pro-austerity forces, Corbyn should turn to the multi-millioned working class, young people whose lives are blighted daily by the reality of austerity and the profit-seeking system of capitalism, and struggling middle-class people too.

He should fight for a general election as soon as possible, and with the left trade union leaders, call mass action. Fight for an anti-austerity, socialist Brexit in the interests of working-class and young people to overcome the 'Brexit divide' and expose Johnson as an anti-working-class representative of the rich, the antithesis of a 'man of the people'.

A general election could be won, if fought boldly on clear socialist policies. Then it would be Corbyn going to negotiate with the EU, backed up by a mass movement, instead of Boris Johnson.

Negotiations in front of a mobilised working class, a challenge to the capitalist EU, would be enormously inspiring to workers across Europe, including in Ireland.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 9 October 2019:


What we think

Brexit theatrics continue

Syria: Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds


News

Cutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

Asda workers protest callous bosses

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough


Labour and workers' rights

Corbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

Labour and the fight for a shorter working week


Obituary

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019


Workplace news

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

Sainsbury's strikers win

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

Lincolnshire health visitors strike


Chinese revolution

Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'


International socialist news and analysis

Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

Selling the Socialist

York freshers success


Reviews

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions


 

Home   |   The Socialist 9 October 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Brexit:

triangleNon-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

triangleJohnson's brinkmanship over EU deal deepens capitalist splits

triangleU-turn Tories' splits are growing

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Britain after Brexit

triangle'Post-Brexit' era of crisis ahead

Working class:

triangleTV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

triangleDover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The role of the working class in the struggle for socialism

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building a political voice for the working class

EU:

triangleThe Socialist: More than a newspaper

triangleBritain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Splits in the EU

Ireland:

triangleIreland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

triangleIreland: Debenham's workers occupy stores

Labour:

triangleWhy we joined the Socialist Party

Boris Johnson:

triangleJohnson's schools social-distancing lie

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

23/9/20

Housing

Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Testing shambles: unions must fight back

23/9/20

Universities

Covid and the campuses

23/9/20

Coronavirus

North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence

23/9/20

NHS

Fund NHS and pay rise now

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Tory Covid chaos

23/9/20

Banks

'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

23/9/20

Amazon

News in brief

23/9/20

Schools

Johnson's schools social-distancing lie

17/9/20

Britain

Britain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end

16/9/20

NHS

NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

16/9/20

Covid

Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

16/9/20

Covid

Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

16/9/20

Profit

Under the microscope

16/9/20

Covid

'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999