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:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleCorbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

triangleResponse to Derek Hatton's criticism of Corbyn over Brexit vote

Tories:

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: NHS cuts - What do The Tories' STP plans involve?

triangleStop the student loan sell-off - scrap all fees

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: Unpopular Tories win in 1992 - Could it happen again?

triangleCouncil cuts can be fought - and they must be!

Market:

triangleWhat we saw

Austerity:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Tory party:

triangleCampaign forces Surrey council to back down on fire station closure

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

22/2/17

Wages

30% of people on inadequate incomes in UK

22/2/17

NHS

Support the NHS? Join the march!

22/2/17

The Socialist

What we saw

22/2/17

Fees

Stop the student loan sell-off - scrap all fees

22/2/17

Minimum wage

Argos fails to pay staff minimum wage - taxman cuts fine in half!

22/2/17

Health

Health cuts responsible for rise in deaths - reverse all austerity now

16/2/17

Aslef

Aslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to fight to win

15/2/17

Socialist Students

Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

15/2/17

NHS

March to save #OurNHS

15/2/17

Local government

Council cuts can be fought - and they must be!

15/2/17

Benefits

Super-rich subsidised

15/2/17

Prisons

Prison deaths scandal: invest in better inmate and staff conditions

15/2/17

Refugees

Save child refugees, fight the cuts

15/2/17

EU

Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

11/2/17

Welfare

60 Years After Beveridge Welfare reform - back to the future?

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

triangle22 Feb Support the NHS? Join the march!

triangle22 Feb Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

triangle22 Feb February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?

triangle21 Feb Dublin: #JobstownNotGuilty

triangle17 Feb Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

triangle16 Feb Aslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to...

triangle15 Feb Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

More ...

triangle26 Feb Wales Socialist Party conference

triangle27 Feb Leeds Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party in Leeds

triangle27 Feb Nottingham Socialist Party: The inspirational life of Eleanor Marx

triangle27 Feb Birmingham Central Socialist Party: NHS cuts - What do The Tories' STP plans involve?

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

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