EU treaties – including TTIP which has yet to be ratified – hard-wire privatisation of the NHS and public services, photo by Anita Ritenour (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Clive Heemskerk, National election agent, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

It was recently revealed that the US government is discussing how to make a direct intervention in the EU referendum debate. It fears a leave vote would have “disastrous consequences” for US capitalist interests.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard former national security advisor Julianne Smith warn that “disaffection about globalisation” is creating “a very dangerous mix”. The speculation is that Obama himself will publicly back a remain vote when he visits Europe in April.

Sections of the US capitalist establishment, particularly during the Iraq war, have sought to weaken the effectiveness of the EU as a counter-power to the US – but not to actually break it up.

US big business and its political representatives are largely united, for example, behind the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Even more than now, TTIP would open up public services – including the NHS – to takeover by private corporations.


The Senate committee heard Cameron’s EU referendum gamble described as “very risky”. The impetus that opposition to TTIP would receive from a leave vote is, no doubt, foremost among the establishment’s fears.

But Obama and other supporters of the EU bosses’ club cannot be effectively answered by the equally pro-big business ‘Vote Leave’ and ‘Leave.EU’ campaigns, dominated by Tory and Ukip figures.

An independent working class leave campaign is vital. This must pose an exit vote as a defence of public services against corporate power, and for international workers’ solidarity, towards a socialist Europe.

An immediate first step is to support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) petition to the Electoral Commission. Public resources must not go to Ukip and Tory projects in the referendum campaign.

Read more at ‘Don’t give taxpayers’ money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!’