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From: The Socialist issue 911, 27 July 2016: No compromise with Labour right

Search site for keywords: EU - The Socialist - Socialist Party - Socialist - Racist - Europe - UKIP - Austerity - Profit system - Refugees - Immigration - Jobs

Why the Socialist Party opposed the EU

Lindsey oil refinery construction workers striking against EU-backed undermining of nationally agreed trade union conditions, photo Sean Figg

Lindsey oil refinery construction workers striking against EU-backed undermining of nationally agreed trade union conditions, photo Sean Figg   (Click to enlarge)

The Socialist Party campaigned in the June referendum against the bosses' EU on a principled socialist and internationalist basis.

We opposed the official leave campaign led by reactionary Tory MPs Boris Johnson and Michael Gove and also the leave campaign headed by the racist and xenophobic Ukip.

Many people rightly revolted by the nationalist, racist bile of 'Little Englander' Tories and Ukip'ers, voted to remain in the EU. But as the Socialist Party pointed out, the EU is no defender of refugees and migrants. On the contrary, barriers are going up in 'Fortress Europe' to prevent the free movement on non-EU people across borders.

The EU's austerity agenda has also allowed populist far-right racist parties to exploit workers' fears over immigration and failing public services.

What 'free movement' exists in the EU is used to allow big business to exploit a cheap supply of labour in a 'race to the bottom' in terms of low pay, zero-hour contacts and poor employment conditions.

Unfortunately, the Labour Party leadership and many trade union leaders fell in behind the remain camp led by the then Tory PM David Cameron - no friend of workers with his austerity-led cuts to jobs, public services and welfare benefits, as well as new anti-trade union laws.

The idea of a 'social Europe' under the capitalist EU is a myth. EU laws and institutions, despite cosmetic window dressing, are there to allow the capitalists freedom to exploit workers.

The Socialist Party maintained that in or out of the EU, as long as we remain under the capitalist profit system, workers will have to struggle to defend living standards against attacks of the bosses. But by exiting the EU one obstacle to fighting back will be removed, as well as dealing a blow to the confidence of capitalism and its institutions which have impoverished working class people throughout Europe.

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