The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 12th April 2019

Boycott EU elections!

by New Worker correspondent

THE PRIME Minister held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, this week in a renewed bid to extend the Brexit deadline to 30th June. But the German and French leaders clearly don’t think Mrs May can break the deadlock in Parliament despite her recent overtures to Labour, and they’ve made it clear that they will only support a long extension of at least a year to allow the Government to “rethink” its plans.

In Brussels Michel Barnier, the chief European Union (EU) negotiator for Brexit, believes Mrs May is close to clinching a deal with Jeremy Corbyn to secure a majority in the House of Commons for a variation of her Brexit plan. “We have had cross-party discussions initiated finally with Labour by Theresa May. We all expressed our hopes and expectations in this regard... our expectations and our hope that this dialogue will conclude with a positive result, which will allow us at last to have a positive majority emerge with regard to this withdrawal agreement... This cross-party dialogue is the new element which could lead to a request, which we would be then willing not only to agree to but also to implement for our future relations,” Barnier said.

There is, in fact, little difference between Mrs May’s plan that would keep Britain in the EU in all but name and Labour’s call to remain in the “single market” and a “customs union” with the rest of the EU. But past efforts to push versions of these options through parliament have been blocked by the determined opposition of Brexiteers on both sides of the House. There is little sign of any significant shift of opinion towards the Remainer camp amongst MPs and this why the European Commission is continuing to urge all EU citizens and businesses to “continue informing themselves about the consequences of a possible ‘no-deal’ scenario...whilst a ‘no-deal’ scenario is not desirable, the EU is prepared for it”.

Some Labour MPs have taken up the call for a general election to break the deadlock in Parliament but without the support of a substantial number of rebel Tory MPs the Government cannot be brought down. Although some die-hard Tory Remainers would accept a Corbyn-led Labour government if that was the price for a second referendum, few Tories relish the thought of a snap election that could cost them their seats. Spinning out Brexit with endless extensions puts off the fateful day and gives the Remainers more time to win support for a ‘people’s vote’ to reverse the decision to leave. In any case, nothing is likely to happen until the autumn because Mrs May doesn’t want anything to jeopardise the state visit of the loathsome Donald Trump in June.

That also means that British participation in the farcical European Parliament elections will now almost certainly be held. And although few people bother to vote in this meaningless exercise it will, nevertheless, become another arena for the Remainers to assert 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 EU and all its previous incarnations have produced for workers.

The European Parliament, like the Commission, has become a byword for undemocratic practices, corruption, nepotism, waste and fraud on a massive scale. The elections themselves are nothing more than a bogus public relations exercise for a body that possesses no meaningful executive powers at all. They don’t deserve the credibility of a vote at all.

Boycott the EU elections in June! Stand by the people’s vote to leave the EU.