All keywords


EU keywords:

A workers voice (5)

EU (422)

EU referendum meetings and events (81)

No unity with Tories (6)

Socialist case for exit (1)

Striking back against EU law (3)


Reports and campaigns:

Anti-capitalism (1258)

Anti-fascist (563)

Anti-racism (706)

Anti-war (1508)

Asylum (217)

Black and Asian (397)

Children (388)

CNWP (108)

Corporate crime (2)

Disability (202)

Education (3983)

Election campaigns (2480)

Environment (613)

EU (455)

Finance (104)

Food (272)

Health and safety (36)

Health and welfare (317)

Housing (1060)

Human Rights (386)

LGBT Pride (143)

Local government (2209)

Local services (3691)

Low pay (515)

Migration (57)

Nationalisation (150)

New workers party (470)

NHS (1874)

Pensions (708)

Post Office (223)

Poverty (583)

Privatisation (1035)

Public Services (1153)

Socialism (887)

Socialist (45)

Sport (199)

Stop the slaughter of Tamils (94)

Students (1855)

The state (1380)

Transport (559)

TUSC (1003)

Welfare rights (723)

Women (778)

Workplace and TU campaigns (8351)

Youth (1985)

Related websites

Youth Fight For Jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

National Shop Stewards Network

Tamil Solidarity


Socialist Case for Exit

Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 932, 18 January 2017: Resist Trump

Search site for keywords: EU - Tories - Market - Britain - Capitalist - Europe - Public ownership - Public services - Austerity - Privatisation - Tory party - Cuts - Outsourcing

Tories torn in two on single market

  • May vows to both leave and remain
  • Fight for a socialist, internationalist Brexit
German trade unionists marching against EU austerity in Brussels. Socialist internationalism means solidarity with workers and their organisations, not the bosses and their, photo Paul Mattsson

German trade unionists marching against EU austerity in Brussels. Socialist internationalism means solidarity with workers and their organisations, not the bosses and their, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Callanan, London Socialist Party

Prime Minister Theresa May has made her long-awaited declaration of the government's objectives for EU exit negotiations. The speech, which had been trailed in advance as the most important speech of her leadership, was notable for its glaring contradictions and May's nervous delivery.

She said the referendum had been "divisive at times" but that Britain is "now coming together." In reality, what was outlined was actually an attempt to paper over the cracks in the Tory party and the capitalist class itself.

The Tories are split. Some want to see a 'hard Brexit' - leaving the single market as well as the EU. Others, including the majority of the capitalist class, would rather Britain didn't leave the EU, but would accept remaining in the bosses' single market.

In the event, May confirmed the negotiating stance that British capitalism would leave the single market. But at the same time, she said she would negotiate "the greatest possible access" to the single market, and "tariff-free trade" through a "comprehensive free trade agreement."

The idea that the governments of Europe will negotiate new trade deals favourable to Britain's capitalists is frankly laughable.

Contradictory

May's muddled and contradictory speech will have satisfied neither the hard nor soft Tory Brexiteers. The weakness of the government's hand has been illustrated by resorting to threats.

May said in her speech: "I must be clear. Britain wants to remain a good friend and neighbour to Europe. Yet I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path."

She went on to suggest EU access to investment opportunities and the City of London's financial services could be restricted. This follows Chancellor Philip Hammond's threat in the German press that Britain would be prepared to engage the EU in a trade war - escalating tariffs or quotas on imports.

The speech also offered insight into the government's nervousness over anger from the working class. May again talked 'left', calling for a "better deal for ordinary working people". She also claimed she will incorporate EU 'protections' into British law, saying "we will ensure that workers' rights are fully protected and maintained".

But May is leading a government which will, from April, implement more anti-worker trade union laws. Britain already has some of the most restrictive trade union laws in the world. And EU laws did nothing to stop it.

There is almost nothing in EU law that genuinely protects workers' rights. In fact, its treaties, directives and court judgements overwhelmingly do the opposite.

Neither the EU nor May's government is a defender of working class people.

Scapegoat

May again took the opportunity to scapegoat migrants. She talked about downward pressure on wages; pressure on public services. But she failed to identify who was responsible for it: big business, aided and abetted by the government, and institutions like the EU, that have all presided over privatisation and cuts to public services.

The Socialist Party supported the vote to leave the EU on the basis that it is a pro-capitalist, pro-austerity institution, with no real route for reform. We called for a campaign for a socialist Brexit based on opposition to EU directives that opposed public ownership and enshrined privatisation.

May's "red, white and blue Brexit", as expected, is an attempt to offer more of the same.

She can be stopped - if we build a working class movement for a 'red Brexit', based on ending austerity, expanding public ownership, protecting migrant rights, and genuine solidarity with the working class across Europe.


What is the 'single market'?

Capitalists within Europe's single market, which Thatcher signed up to in 1986, can freely move certain goods, money, some 'services' (outsourcing), and workforces, between different member countries.

This gives bosses even more than the free trade area inside which they can buy and sell without tariffs.

Among other things, it also allows them to get around trade union agreements, and drive down wages and conditions across the whole area, boosting profits.

The majority of the capitalist class wants to stay in the single market for all these reasons.

The EU is also a customs union. This means tariffs on goods imported from outside it are the same for all member countries.


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page

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: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999