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Socialist Case for Exit

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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 March 2016

EU referendum: 'In' campaigners crank up Project Fear

The EU has undermined workers' rights across Europe, photo by Paul Mattsson

The EU has undermined workers' rights across Europe, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score

Project fear is back with a vengeance! Pro-European Union (EU) campaigners in the run up to the June referendum are copying the strategy of the anti-independence bloc in Scotland last year. We are told a vote to leave will mean economic catastrophe, higher prices and the loss of jobs, trade and workers' rights.

Tory Prime Minister Cameron's scaremongering is backed up by large sections of big business. A letter signed by the chief executives of a third of the top 100 stock exchange listed companies said leaving would "deter investment and threaten jobs." Of course it is these very companies who have sacked workers and refused to invest over many years!

Labour's stance

Unfortunately the official Labour campaign echoes Cameron. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) leaders have also weighed in on the side of the EU. The TUC says that if we leave "no one can say what will happen" to workers' rights such as "paid annual holidays, health and safety protection and rights to unpaid parental leave."

However, they do admit that the EU has limited the ability of unions to organise industrial action and undermined collective bargaining agreements. What they don't mention are the treaties of the EU that are designed to enforce cuts, privatisation and the driving down of workers' pay and conditions. Also, there's no mention about workers in Greece and other countries having their living standards, public services and employment rights devastated by the EU.

Over many years our employment rights have been fought for by workers taking collective action, they have not been handed to us by benevolent bureaucrats or negotiations between the pro-big business governments that make up the EU.

Where the Tories have been able to get away with it they have opted out of the EU's supposed 'progressive' legislation.

The only guarantee of keeping our limited rights, in or out, is by the struggle of working people. The TUC in sub-contracting defence of workers' rights to the EU betrays their lack of preparedness to take on the Tories.

Jeremy Corbyn, prior to his election as Labour leader, opposed the EU because it is a bosses' club. Now, under pressure from the Labour establishment, he has u-turned. He met Social Democrat leaders in Europe and called on them to link up with 'left' parties such as Die Linke in Germany and Syriza in Greece for "progressive reform" of the EU.

He argues that he isn't on the same side as Cameron who wants a "free market Europe". Instead he wants "jobs and social protection." But the EU is all about the 'free market'. It has no real democracy, its parliament is toothless, it cannot be reformed. It is based on horse trading between capitalist governments and is fundamentally against the interests of the working class.

Unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn's support for a vote to remain only hands the leadership of the out campaign to Ukip and right-wing Tories, which is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's (TUSC) campaign for a working class response against the EU (see below) is so important.

The Socialist Party, a key part of TUSC, stands for a genuine internationalism, linking the workers of Europe and worldwide for a struggle to defend living standards and change society. We call for a vote to leave the capitalist EU, and to build a socialist Europe.

Also see the article 'Don't give taxpayers' money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!' and the TUSC petition online at

No to EU/TTIP dictats

Brent Kennedy

Called by 'No NHS Sell-off', Carlisle trade unionists, inc-luding Socialist Party members, lobbied local Tory MP John Stevenson's office against the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. If TTIP is agreed between the US administration and EU, it will result in the privatisation of the National Health Service and allow corporations to dictate government policies solely in the interests of their profits.

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In The Socialist 2 March 2016:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Socialism back on the agenda

EU referendum: 'In' campaigners crank up Project Fear

Support junior doctors' strikes

Tories propose endless austerity...We say: 'No way!'

Fifa: invest in working class sport, not profits

Rough sleeping flies up 30% in one year

Credit calls

Family finance

Them & Us

International Women's Day

International Women's Day 2016: Should women support Hillary Clinton?

International socialist news and analysis

Irish voters reject 'two-and-a-half party system'

Stop the war on the Kurds!

Socialist Party workplace news

Historic further education strike in England

Determined junior doctors fight on

A day in the life of a Women's Aid worker in Wales

Food workers "adamant" in fight against pay cut

Labour council attacks trade unions

May Day greetings with the socialist

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Uprising against A&E closure

Swansea: youth orchestra joins protest against cuts

Labour rush to cut, with Tory support

The Isle of Wight needs socialism!

Workers' fightback sets tone for East Mids conference

Help us seize every opportunity to fight austerity

Housing nightmare the focus of student campaign

Young Labour conference: Left and right lock horns


Why I joined: "The same values that I believed"



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