The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 20th May 2016
On Thursday 23rd June the country will vote either to remain in or leave the European Union. While those in favour of remaining in the EU still lead in the opinion polls the “Brexit” campaigners are gaining ground as the split in the Tory party widens over Europe. David Cameron now, clearly, must rely on Labour, Scottish National Party and TUC support to deliver a convincing Yes vote on the day. Defeat, or even a close-run thing, will mean the end of his premiership and possibly the end of this Tory government.
A lot of old nonsense has been spouted by both sides over the past few weeks as the divisions amongst the ruling class become more and more open amongst the media pundits and in the columns of the bourgeois press. Some Europhiles are wildly claiming that a British exit would be followed by economic meltdown and World War while the reactionary Brexiteers led by UKIP and Tory Eurosceptics are banging on about immigration and the supposed threat to national security posed by continued EU membership.
Communists, therefore, have a crucial role to play in the campaign by raising the principled objections of the working class to the European Union and the Treaty of Rome while countering the racist arguments of Nigel Farage and his followers.
The development of the Common Market, and the EU that followed, was the choice of European imperialism and western European monopoly capital.
It promotes neo-liberal measures favouring the monopolies and the concentration and accumulation of capital. It cannot represent a genuine counterweight to the United States in favour of the people. With the Lisbon Treaty, new steps are being taken towards the configuration of the EU as an imperialist, economic, political and military bloc, contrary to the interests of the workers and the people.
The sovereignty and independence of peoples and countries are being further undermined. The attack on labour and trade union rights throughout the EU is escalating in the name of “modernisation”, “competitiveness” and “flexicurity” — and in order to ensure the profits of capital.
For years Labour, the SNP and the majority of the leaders of our unions have elevated the EU as an instrument for social progress and economic advance. They say that the EU is becoming more representative through the authority of the European Parliament and establishment of regional autonomy. The social-democrats claim that the anti-working class “directives” and “rulings” can be reversed. The revisionist and left social-democratic circles that still pose as communists in some parts of Europe argue that the EU can be reformed to serve the interests of working people.
But 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 an institution designed solely for the benefit of the oppressors and exploiters. What few benefits the EU has brought, such as increased trade and open borders, could all have been achieved through separate agreements and treaties.
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.