Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Socialist Case for Exit

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/932/24246

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2017

Tories torn in two on single market

German trade unionists marching against EU austerity in Brussels. Socialist internationalism means solidarity with workers and their organisations, not the bosses and their, photo Paul Mattsson

German trade unionists marching against EU austerity in Brussels. Socialist internationalism means solidarity with workers and their organisations, not the bosses and their, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Callanan, London Socialist Party

Prime Minister Theresa May has made her long-awaited declaration of the government's objectives for EU exit negotiations. The speech, which had been trailed in advance as the most important speech of her leadership, was notable for its glaring contradictions and May's nervous delivery.

She said the referendum had been "divisive at times" but that Britain is "now coming together." In reality, what was outlined was actually an attempt to paper over the cracks in the Tory party and the capitalist class itself.

The Tories are split. Some want to see a 'hard Brexit' - leaving the single market as well as the EU. Others, including the majority of the capitalist class, would rather Britain didn't leave the EU, but would accept remaining in the bosses' single market.

In the event, May confirmed the negotiating stance that British capitalism would leave the single market. But at the same time, she said she would negotiate "the greatest possible access" to the single market, and "tariff-free trade" through a "comprehensive free trade agreement."

The idea that the governments of Europe will negotiate new trade deals favourable to Britain's capitalists is frankly laughable.

Contradictory

May's muddled and contradictory speech will have satisfied neither the hard nor soft Tory Brexiteers. The weakness of the government's hand has been illustrated by resorting to threats.

May said in her speech: "I must be clear. Britain wants to remain a good friend and neighbour to Europe. Yet I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path."

She went on to suggest EU access to investment opportunities and the City of London's financial services could be restricted. This follows Chancellor Philip Hammond's threat in the German press that Britain would be prepared to engage the EU in a trade war - escalating tariffs or quotas on imports.

The speech also offered insight into the government's nervousness over anger from the working class. May again talked 'left', calling for a "better deal for ordinary working people". She also claimed she will incorporate EU 'protections' into British law, saying "we will ensure that workers' rights are fully protected and maintained".

But May is leading a government which will, from April, implement more anti-worker trade union laws. Britain already has some of the most restrictive trade union laws in the world. And EU laws did nothing to stop it.

There is almost nothing in EU law that genuinely protects workers' rights. In fact, its treaties, directives and court judgements overwhelmingly do the opposite.

Neither the EU nor May's government is a defender of working class people.

Scapegoat

May again took the opportunity to scapegoat migrants. She talked about downward pressure on wages; pressure on public services. But she failed to identify who was responsible for it: big business, aided and abetted by the government, and institutions like the EU, that have all presided over privatisation and cuts to public services.

The Socialist Party supported the vote to leave the EU on the basis that it is a pro-capitalist, pro-austerity institution, with no real route for reform. We called for a campaign for a socialist Brexit based on opposition to EU directives that opposed public ownership and enshrined privatisation.

May's "red, white and blue Brexit", as expected, is an attempt to offer more of the same.

She can be stopped - if we build a working class movement for a 'red Brexit', based on ending austerity, expanding public ownership, protecting migrant rights, and genuine solidarity with the working class across Europe.


What is the 'single market'?

Capitalists within Europe's single market, which Thatcher signed up to in 1986, can freely move certain goods, money, some 'services' (outsourcing), and workforces, between different member countries.

This gives bosses even more than the free trade area inside which they can buy and sell without tariffs.

Among other things, it also allows them to get around trade union agreements, and drive down wages and conditions across the whole area, boosting profits.

The majority of the capitalist class wants to stay in the single market for all these reasons.

The EU is also a customs union. This means tariffs on goods imported from outside it are the same for all member countries.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 January 2017:


What we think

Labour's civil war continues - build a mass workers' party

Tories torn in two on single market


Resist Trump

Resist Trump

Inaugurate the resistance

We can stop Trump's sexist agenda in its tracks


International socialist news and analysis

Mexico: Mass movement against "gasolinazo"

USA: Seattle activists win housebuilding programme

1917revolution.org website to launch


Socialist Party news and analysis

'Black alert' NHS: Demonstrate 4 March

Eight billionaires own as much as half humanity!

Pollution kills 600: fight for clean air!

Northern Ireland calls snap election: back Labour Alternative

Millwall FC move threat: Defend the Den - 'wall not Renewal


Workplace news and analysis

Billions in profit for Tesco, cuts and job losses for workers

Liverpool dockers and drivers protest "appalling lack of facilities"

Manchester: BA cabin crew pay strike

London: Taxi drivers gridlock City of London

Southern Rail strike continues

Unite the Union elections

PCS union national executive elections


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist: read it, write it, sell it

Protesters surround Sheffield's cutting council

Fracking protest in Sherwood Forest

Residents protest at plans to close nine community centres

Anger at south east Kent Momentum meeting

Socialist Party national committee agrees document for congress


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Theatre review: high art and savage poverty in Bootle

John Berger: remarkable art of a contradictory socialist

Socialist artists invite others to exhibit work

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 January 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

EU:

triangleNo to racist scapegoating: oppose the far right

triangleTory splits brought to the surface - Corbyn must go on the attack

triangleConsequences of Brexit vote

triangleScotland 'indyref2' for socialist independence not the capitalist EU

triangleFight racism and austerity

Tories:

triangleNHS: protest, strike, occupy to win!

triangleTories scrap housing benefit for under-21s

triangleTory budget - dull but nasty

triangleFight the cuts: Demand no-cuts council budgets

Market:

triangleTUSC supports Irish MPs' call on Corbyn

triangleWhat we saw

Britain:

triangleTop banks post 67% of profits in tax havens - nationalise the banks!

triangleIs a democratic socialist transformation of society possible?

Capitalist:

triangleBelarus: movement developing against regime

Public ownership:

triangleBuild a movement to save our NHS

Austerity:

triangleBallot papers go out in Unite elections

Privatisation:

triangleDispute against backdoor privatisation of mental health services

Tory party:

triangleCampaign forces Surrey council to back down on fire station closure

Outsourcing:

triangleUnison HE conference: Delegates give the bureaucracy a lesson in democracy

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

29/3/17

Labour

Times makes call for Tory entryism

29/3/17

Leeds

Leeds Labour councillors resign over cuts

29/3/17

Homelessness

Homelessness agencies accused of being complicit in coercive deportations

29/3/17

Banks

Top banks post 67% of profits in tax havens - nationalise the banks!

29/3/17

NHS

Prescription and dental charges to rise again - fight for a free NHS!

27/3/17

Terrorism

Unite against terror, racism and war

22/3/17

Militant

Livingstone's smear of Militant

22/3/17

Ireland

Jobstown Not Guilty: defend the right to protest

22/3/17

Tories

Tory splits brought to the surface - Corbyn must go on the attack

22/3/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

22/3/17

Children

Fight Tory attacks on women and children

22/3/17

Housing benefit

Tories scrap housing benefit for under-21s

21/3/17

PCS

CPSA to PCS: Fighting the 'Moderates' and building a fighting union

15/3/17

Scotland

Scotland 'indyref2' for socialist independence not the capitalist EU

15/3/17

NHS

NHS: strikes and protests can stop cuts

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle30 Mar TUSC contests Liverpool City Region mayor election

triangle29 Mar Over 1,000 march with TAs against 23% pay cut

triangle29 Mar April 1917: how the Bolsheviks reorientated

triangle29 Mar Top banks post 67% of profits in tax havens - nationalise the banks!

triangle29 Mar Ferrybridge workers protest against 'race to bottom'

triangle27 Mar Unite against terror, racism and war

triangle24 Mar Doncaster: snap strike by posties pushes bully bosses back

More ...

triangle30 Mar Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Building a campaign against cuts in Tower Hamlets

triangle30 Mar North London Socialist Party: Stop the education cuts

triangle30 Mar Bradford Socialist Party: The French election campaign

triangle31 Mar Lambeth Socialist Party: Marking the anti-poll tax campaign

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice