No to the EU!

No to the Treaty of Rome!

THE REPORT that a millionaire businessman is going to underwrite the UK Independence Party in next year’s European parliamentary elections was good news for UKIP leader Nigel Farage and if they trounce the Tories it will probably be the last nail in the coffin for any Tory hopes of winning the next general election in 2015.

Paul Sykes, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, is a long-standing maverick Tory who has backed UKIP before. This time he’s pledged “whatever it takes” to help UKIP “score a stunning national victory” so that “then the leaders of the other main parties will have no choice but to abandon their slavish support for the EU”.

UKIP currently holds nine seats in the European Parliament, one seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly and three members of the House of Lords and its heady blend of John Bull nationalism and opposition to multiculturalism and immigration has proved to be a magnet to disaffected Tories as well as a bolt hole for racists now that the fascist BNP has gone down the pan.

European elections take place every five years but hardly anyone knows who their MEPs are or what they do. In fact they do next to nothing apart from draw their colossal wages and expenses for taking part in a charade that is paid for by the workers of Europe. The New Communist Party has opposed the European Union and the Treaty of Rome from the very beginning when our Party was founded in 1977 and we campaign for a boycott of the European parliamentary elections.

UKIP has also been around a long time. Farage helped set it up back in 1993. But though it calls itself a “party” it is essentially a reactionary single-issue pressure group whose original aims were to help the Eurosceptic Tories regain control of the Conservative Party, keep Britain out of the Euro and force a referendum on continued membership of the European Union.

The first objective will almost certainly happen when David Cameron loses the next election. The second has virtually been achieved as not even the most die-hard Europhile dares to publicly argue in favour of joining the single European currency in the current climate of austerity. But the referendum remains as elusive as ever because very few workers are ever going to close ranks around a bunch of reactionary businessmen and politicians who fully approve of every measure taken by the EU against the working class but would prefer them to have been made in Westminster rather than Brussels.

Meanwhile the Labour leadership and most of the trade union movement remain as committed as ever to the EU and all its institutions. Labour, together with the rest of social-democracy in Europe and the rag-bag of revisionist parties within the European Left Party that still claim to be communist, are steadfast supporters of the European Union and all its institutions. They claim that a united Europe has benefited working people and that it will do so in the future. What they fail to point out is one single benefit that the European Union and all its previous incarnations have produced for workers.

These are the questions that communists must raise in the broader struggle to build a working class agenda within the labour movement to take the case for socialism and the communist answer to the crisis on to the streets, factories and offices throughout the country.

The EU with its toothless parliament, ruritanian regional governments and farcical referendums, which only count when the vote agrees with what has already been decided by the powers that be, hasn’t been reformed. Nor can it ever be under the Treaty of Rome.

The European Union is neither genuinely federal nor democratic and every stage of European integration has been financed by working people through higher indirect taxes, lost jobs and lost benefits. The European Union cannot be reformed. It must be dissolved and the Treaty of Rome, which established the Common Market in the first place, and all addenda repealed.