Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Socialist Case for Exit

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1041/29070

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 May 2019

The CWU argues that any Brexit deal

The CWU argues that any Brexit deal   (Click to enlarge)

Unions must back a general election and oppose bosses' EU

Rob Williams, Socialist Party executive committee

The recent meeting of Labour's national executive committee, called to finalise the party's European Union election manifesto, brought out the division over the EU bosses' club.

In the debate that ensued, affiliated unions were on both sides. But Unite the Union and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) played a key role in defeating advocates of prioritising a 'people's vote' - a second EU referendum with the aim of reversing Brexit.

It's clear that a majority of the Blairites, acting as agents of the capitalist establishment, are using this issue to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and the fight for a general election.

With May and the Tories weak, divided and suffering huge losses in the council elections, once again the Blairites are trying to ride to their rescue.

It is therefore vital that Corbyn and John McDonnell stand firm, putting forward a clear class position that can unite workers in a struggle to get rid of the Tories and bring in a Labour government on socialist policies.

An important step is to both oppose a rotten deal with the Tories and to fight for a Brexit deal that defends workers' interests.

The scale of the vote for Leave in 2016 was, at base, a working-class revolt against austerity. The Socialist Party criticised Jeremy Corbyn and the majority of unions in supporting Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

We argued that the labour and trade union movement should have campaigned for a socialist Leave position, opposing the neoliberal rules of the EU, and appealing for workers' solidarity from across Europe.

Nationalisation

Such an approach would have exposed the neoliberal character of the EU, explaining how its rules against public ownership and state intervention are an obstacle to a Corbyn-led government implementing socialist policies.

This includes many of the policies in Corbyn's 2017 general election manifesto that resulted in a swing to Labour, denying May a majority that contributed to the Tory crisis.

Corbyn's mistaken approach in the 2016 EU referendum allowed the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson to lead the Leave campaign in a right-wing nationalistic direction.

Since then, however, Corbyn stated that Labour should accept the outcome of the vote and call for a general election.

He has not mobilised the workers' movement around this demand over the heads of the parliamentary Labour Party, but up until now he has at least stood out against the Blairites both inside and now outside of Labour.

Tom Watson walked out of a shadow cabinet meeting when he couldn't win a commitment that no Brexit deal would be agreed without a 'confirmatory' referendum - even if all of the safeguards on workers' rights, state aid rules and so on were achieved.

Shamefully, the Blairites have been joined in this by some union leaders. An amendment from transport union TSSA at the subsequent Labour national executive committee, committing Labour to a 'confirmatory' referendum, was defeated.

Overturn

Corbyn has understood that if Labour is seen as a Remain party looking to overturn a democratic vote, a big section of the working class who voted Leave for anti-establishment reasons will turn against it.

The two unions that have supported Corbyn have been Unite and the CWU. In both unions, which had a Remain position in 2016, Socialist Party members have had an influence.

At last year's Unite policy conference, a motion from Unite LE/1228 branch argued for the union to call for a workers' Brexit, fight for a general election to get the Tories out, and for a Corbyn-led Labour government.

This was incorporated into the union leadership's statement, although it did leave open "the possibility of a popular vote" if there was no general election.

As we reported in last week's Socialist (see 'Communication workers oppose second EU vote, and back new socialist Clause IV for Labour'), the recent CWU conference agreed the union's national executive council emergency motion to not campaign for a second referendum, but instead to fight for a general election and the election of a "transformative Labour government that will deliver an irreversible shift in wealth and power in the UK."

In the 2016 conference, it was a Socialist Party member, a delegate from Coventry, who was a key speaker from the rostrum to oppose the leadership's then position for Remain.

The CWU's latest resolution argues that any Brexit deal "should be consistent with a democratic socialist transformation of the UK economy in relation to competition, the undercutting of workers and public ownership and investment." This is an outline of how Corbyn should approach any Brexit talks.

His 'red lines' should be the end of austerity, the repeal of all the anti-union laws - some of which were prompted by the EU - and no adherence to EU rules on nationalisation and state aid, including bringing Royal Mail and BT back into public ownership.

This would expose May and the EU's pro-boss bias and help Corbyn show workers that he is on their side.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 8 May 2019:


Socialist Party election analysis

Local elections: Tory meltdown but Labour loses ground

England council elections: socialist anti-cuts message chimes with voters

Leicester elections: "We planted a marker for the future"

Bolsover elections: Labour's cuts councillors punished by voters

Halton Brook election: support for our policies on doorstep


International socialist news and analysis

Spanish elections - new upheavals underline need for a revolutionary socialist alternative


Socialist Party news and analysis

Climate catastrophe looms: we need socialist change

Young and old, unite and fight!

Water bosses plan to undermine nationalisation: no compensation for fat cats!

Northern Ireland: Socialist wins council seat

Them & Us


Workplace news and analysis

Unions must back a general election and oppose bosses' EU

Doncaster NHS pay win shows: strikes can get results!

PCS union: listen to members, link the campaigns - we can win fight on pay

Usdaw union conference demands action on pay, jobs and the right

UCU general secretary election: fight for a left leadership!

Newham gas workers to strike

Hull dinner ladies protest against loss of week's pay

Asda workers protest against attacks on paid breaks and bank holiday working

Woolwich Ferry staff to strike over pay and safety

Radiographers' union slams professional costs


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour launches homelessness campaign

Socialist vision at Leeds May Day rally

Alternative housing awards shames bosses


Opinion

Sequel to 'A Very British Coup' - workers' struggle, not bosses' EU and media, is route to socialism

'Line of Duty' - twists and turns as organised crime meets police corruption

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 May 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

EU:

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Splits in the EU

triangleBattered Tories face divisions and growing anger

triangleYork Socialist Party: EU splits and divisions grow over Covid-19 crisis

triangleAs coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

triangleGreece-Turkey border refugee crisis

Unions:

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

triangleMandatory masks in shops law

triangleFight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!

triangleNottingham unions fight council job cuts

General election:

triangleCouncil cuts could cost Labour another general election

triangleWhat next after the general election, for PCS and the left

triangleHillingdon Socialist Party: Following the General Election, what next for socialists and trade unionists?

Labour:

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

triangleTime to relaunch TUSC

Union:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Unite:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

CWU:

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

5/8/20

Coronavirus

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

5/8/20

Coronavirus

Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

5/8/20

Labour Party

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

5/8/20

Coronavirus

NHS pay: 15% for all now

5/8/20

Coronavirus

From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

5/8/20

Universities

What would socialist universities look like?

22/7/20

China

Huawei: what's behind Johnson's u-turn?

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!

22/7/20

Music

Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

22/7/20

Luton

Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!

22/7/20

The Socialist

Getting the Socialist over the summer

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for the NHS

22/7/20

NHS

Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more

22/7/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

22/7/20

Steel

Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999