Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/943/25226

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 April 2017

Editorial of the Socialist, issue 943

Tensions over Gibraltar show there is no cohesive approach to Brexit within the British or European ruling classes, photo by Richard Leonard (Creative Commons)

Tensions over Gibraltar show there is no cohesive approach to Brexit within the British or European ruling classes, photo by Richard Leonard (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Gibraltar, EU guidelines, Ukip in crisis

Fight for a socialist Brexit

Talk of Britain 'going to war' with Spain, European politicians telling each other not to 'lose their cool' - it could all seem rather surreal. But the Gibraltar tensions that have developed in the latest stage of the Brexit process show the truth of what the Socialist Party has argued. The chaos shows that there is no cohesive approach to Brexit within the British or European ruling classes - there is only division and instability within a context where the rights and interests of working class people (in Britain, Gibraltar or anywhere else) are of no concern to the ruling elites. This division should be an opportunity for the workers' movement - but as yet has not been seized.

The EU's draft negotiating guidelines poured cold water on any idea that May and the British government would have their way. There will, the council of the EU says, be no parallel talks on a future trade deal until 'significant progress' has been made on the details of Britain's 'exit payments' and other issues. May had suggested that Britain would keep access to the single market in industries where it would be most beneficial - the EU says there will be no sector-by-sector agreements.

It is possible that some splits on these issues could emerge as the different capitalist classes of Europe promote their own national interests, but for now they are presenting a united face. A big factor in this initial stance is the precarious footing of the whole EU and the risk of the idea of leaving becoming even more popular among the working class of other member states. The Greek debt crisis is coming to a head again, with payments of €7 billion due in July. Far-right (and anti-EU) French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is neck-and-neck with millionaire 'independent' Emmanuel Macron going into the first round elections in two weeks' time.

'Rise of the right'

Some on the left continue to lament a 'rise of the right' in Britain and elsewhere. This is wrong - and is becoming more and more clearly so. We must of course remain vigilant, and some racists have been given confidence by the reactionary rhetoric from both sides during and since the referendum. But as a whole, the right is in crisis.

Anti-racism demo 18.3.17, photo Mary Finch

Anti-racism demo 18.3.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Just look at the current state of Ukip. Arron Banks, the party's main funder, resigned his membership and is setting out to build a new 'movement' targeting unseating Remain MPs. Then just 12 days later the party's only MP, Douglas Carswell, followed suit. This, just two years on from their hopes of winning up to 30 seats in the general election.

Meanwhile, the Tories, although having presented a relatively united veneer in recent weeks, constantly teeter on the edge of civil war. Their sheen of stability cannot last, especially given the EU's guidelines undermining every promise May had made to unite them. A glimpse of this was seen when six of the ten Tory MPs who sit on the Brexit committee walked out of a meeting and refused to back the committee's own report on the impact of Brexit happening without a trade deal in place. As we have previously outlined, it was always utopian to pretend, as May did, that both wings of the Tory party could be satisfied by the terms and outcome of Brexit negotiations.

The only reason that the right feels any confidence is because of a lack of organised opposition from the trade union and Labour leaders. Jeremy Corbyn has been almost silent in his response to the triggering of Article 50. With some similarities to May's predicament, Corbyn is under pressure from all sides within the Labour Party. But his response should be to come out with a clear, fighting programme, not to go quiet.

Highlighting the vacuum left by Corbyn's evasion of the key issues, ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband wrote an article in the Observer jointly with Blairite-in-chief Hilary Benn. They set out their case: "The right approach is to accept the result, fight hard Brexit and, crucially, set out a progressive settlement for Brexit Britain... All of us who care about a progressive future for Britain must not let the future be decided between the right and extreme right."

They talk about investing in infrastructure, breaking with casualised exploitative labour practices, funding the NHS, making Britain an 'internationalist' country, helping refugees and tackling climate change. But these politicians fully accept the logic of austerity that means exploitation of workers and cuts to our NHS. They do not challenge, for example, the 'red line' in the EU negotiation guidelines to preserve the EU state aid and competition rules prohibiting nationalisation. The Labour right cannot be allowed to present themselves as the voice of 'progressive' Brexit.

Instead the workers' movement and socialists, with Corbyn in the lead if he shows himself willing, must be clear on a programme for the 99% throughout negotiations and after Brexit. Our movement stands against all austerity. It stands for the scrapping of all anti-union laws and for full rights for workers to organise. It stands in defence of migrants and refugees and against all racism. These things by their very nature mean standing against the neoliberal EU.

The discussions taking place about what kind of Brexit we need - not just in Westminster but around dinner tables and in workplaces in working class communities - can be an opportunity. The left needs to fight to put centre stage that hand-in-hand with 'what kind of Brexit' comes 'what kind of society'. We need to bring into the mainstream a conversation about an internationalist, socialist Brexit - as a step towards a voluntary, democratic, socialist federation of European states - and to convince the majority of working class people that fighting for that is the only way we can secure jobs, decent wages, homes and services for all.

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


In The Socialist 5 April 2017:


NHS SOS

Communities and health workers unite to...resist cruel NHS cuts

NHS SOS round-up


What we think

Fight for a socialist Brexit


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty

Labour group to discipline councillors for resisting Haringey gentrification scheme

Gagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state

Help fund your paper!

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Horrific attack on Croydon asylum seeker

Far right humiliated in London - but trade unions must organise against racism and austerity


Food

What would a socialist food industry look like?


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC to challenge for the Merseyside 'metro-mayor'

NHS worker to stand for mayor of Doncaster


Socialist Party workplace news

Walkout on three rail networks against driver-only operated trains

Ferrybridge workers protest against 'race to bottom'

Solid Picturehouse picket and protest

Bromley library workers strike against privatisation

Hackney children's inclusion unit forced to strike

Support Len McCluskey and United Left candidates before ballot closes

PCS payday protests


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Homeless due to the housing crisis

Rents up 40% - can't pay, will stay!

Name and shame the worst behaviour by housing associations


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

Fukushima nuclear disaster - a terrifying legacy

Justice for Yemen workers


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Financial hardship facing millions of cancer sufferers

The Socialist Inbox

Courageous Ebola nurse Salomé Karwah dies


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 April 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Brexit:

triangleWorcestershire Socialist Party: Brexit - a socialist programme for leaving the bosses' EU

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: What would a socialist Brexit look like?

triangleRight wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: For a socialist Brexit

triangleBlairite EU rebellion: no to the bosses' Single Market

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Venezuela - is the capitalist class preparing a coup?,

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Why do we need international socialism?

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Lessons from the Birmingham bin dispute

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: How can workers win decent pay?

UKIP:

triangleMay and Tories must go!

EU:

triangleGlobal finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?

triangleG20 betrays refugees created by its own policies

Britain:

triangleVenezuela shows battle Corbyn would face

Labour:

triangleThe role of the RMT in changing Labour

Working class:

triangleCrunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners

Workers:

triangleBin workers - fighting back wins!

Socialist Party:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: What is anarchism?

State:

triangleVenezuela: Capitalist offensive sharpens after assembly elections

The Socialist:

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: From Militant to the Socialist Party

Refugees:

triangleDerby Socialist Party: Solidarity with refugees - defend the right to asylum

War:

triangleRussia 1917: how art helped make the revolution

NHS:

triangleThe stress and hardship faced by nurses

Austerity:

triangleHow much reserves have councils got?

MPs:

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

Westminster:

triangleCorbyn could re-win Scotland with a socialist approach to independence

Water:

triangleJobstown Not Guilty trial round-up

Marine Le Pen:

triangleFrench elections: time to build a fighting left alternative

Jobs:

triangleGlasgow janitors win famous victory

Independent:

triangleGrenfell stitch-up: unions should call independent inquiry

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleYoung, angry and fighting back

Spain:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Building a socialist international

Labour Party:

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

Trade union:

triangleProtests against state repression in Russia and Kazakhstan

Socialism:

triangleMarx's Capital at 150: an unequalled analysis

Tories:

triangleManchester: national Tories Out demo

Homes:

triangleNewcastle tenants demand answers

Racism:

triangleUS: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

Market:

triangleBBC yawning pay gaps revealed

US:

triangleThem & Us

Tory party:

triangleThe Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

Unite:

triangleBin workers strike: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

Cuts:

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project

CWI:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Venezuela - the imperialist offensive sharpens

Capitalist:

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: USA - The fight against Trump and the struggle for a socialist alternative

Climate change:

triangleTrump and the fossil fuel corporations - a lethal combination for the planet

Banks:

triangleBarclays finally charged for having hands in till

Anti-union laws:

triangleConference opens debate on Labour and pledges to fight anti-union laws

Aid:

triangleForeign aid corruption: capitalism to blame

Competition:

triangleDon't we need competition to spur on progress?

Council:

triangleVital women's services under threat

Europe:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Workers' struggles across Europe

Far-right:

triangleFar-right thrown out of Newcastle

General election:

triangleThe Socialist spring offensive

Elections:

triangleFrench elections: Macron's win

Election:

triangleAbolish tuition fees and student debt!

Debt:

triangleYoung people...fight for a future, fight for socialist policies

Ed Miliband:

triangleLessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike

Government:

triangleRMT condemns Welsh government rail privatisation

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

9/8/17

Pay

Striking back against poverty pay

9/8/17

Finance

Global finance: Are those storm clouds ahead?

9/8/17

Mental health

40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'

8/8/17

Venezuela

Venezuela shows battle Corbyn would face

31/7/17

Trade union

Government's tribunal fees defeat

26/7/17

Debt

Abolish tuition fees and student debt!

26/7/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

26/7/17

Homelessness

Homelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

26/7/17

BBC

BBC yawning pay gaps revealed

26/7/17

Brexit

Right wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn

25/7/17

PCS

Court victory for PCS and all trade unions

19/7/17

Education

Education cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure

12/7/17

Refugees

G20 betrays refugees created by its own policies

12/7/17

Anti-austerity

This bosses' government must go

12/7/17

Trade unions

The left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

triangle21 Aug The role of the RMT in changing Labour

triangle21 Aug Bin workers strike: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

triangle17 Aug Bin workers - fighting back wins!

triangle17 Aug Vital women's services under threat

triangle15 Aug US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

triangle9 Aug Young, angry and fighting back

triangle9 Aug Striking back against poverty pay

More ...

triangle21 Aug Birmingham Central Socialist Party: Lessons from the Birmingham bin dispute

triangle22 Aug Manchester Socialist Party: What is anarchism?

triangle22 Aug Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Why do we need international socialism?

triangle22 Aug Derby Socialist Party: Israel/Palestine - one state or two?

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

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

V2