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Socialist Case for Exit

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/395/4479

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2005

What we think

EU constitution defeated

Now step up the struggle for workers' rights

THE FRENCH 'no' to the EU constitution is a massive blow to the pro-big business politicians in France and Europe. In Britain it means that a referendum is effectively dead.

Blair's dream scenario involved a 'yes' campaign in 2006 where, with Brown's support, he would use his powers of persuasion to convince the British public to vote in favour of the EU constitution. Then he would be able to stand down as Prime Minister, leaving his legacy of Britain at the "heart of Europe".

It was only ever really a dream. Much more likely was a humiliating defeat, as it turned into a referendum on Blair himself, with a battered Blair forced to bow out with his tail between his legs.

In one respect Blair has been let off the hook. But he is also left to pick up the pieces of the constitution wreckage when Britain takes over the presidency of the EU in July.

Some Labour MPs are calling for his early resignation now that a referendum is unlikely to go ahead. However, Blair will want to see through the six-month EU presidency, determined to try and force through the bosses' neo-liberal agenda.

This would include keeping Britain's opt-out of the working hours directive, which means that British workers can work more than the EU limit of 48 hours, and pushing ahead with the so-called 'Frankenstein' services directive which would drastically undermine workers' rights and conditions.

But that's precisely what millions of French workers were voting against in the referendum and what German workers rejected in the recent election in the region of North Rhine Westphalia. They don't want the 'Anglo-Saxon model' of longer working hours, privatisation of public services, slashing of the welfare state and decimated workers' rights.

There have been huge struggles in France, Germany and many other European countries against these attacks.

British workers need to join with these and others in the rest of Europe to fight against the bosses' EU of profits and exploitation and for a united workers' Europe of solidarity and socialism.

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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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 2 June 2005:

Say no to the bosses' profit system

EU constitution defeated

Why French workers voted 'no' to EU referendum

Defend adult education

ID cards: 300 for a snooper's card!

The campaign for Socialism 2005 begins now

Capitalism can't solve AIDS crisis

"Struggle or death" - Pakistan telecoms workers fight privatisation

Germany: Political turmoil after the elections

Iraq: coalition plans floundering

Labour court awards Gama workers 8,000

Striking back at pay-cutting bosses

BBC offer must be rejected

It is privatisation and it is as we know it

Coventry single status dispute: the stakes are raised

FE lecturers fight for pay deal

Job losses expose Manchester's 'boom'


 

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