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The British people have decided

Statement from the Portuguese Communist Party on the EU referendum

The victory of the exit from the European Union in the referendum held in Britain is an event of tremendous political magnitude for British people and also for the people of Europe.

It represents a far-reaching change in the process of capitalist integration in Europe and a new threshold of struggle for those who have, for decades, fought against the European Union of big business and the big powers, and for a Europe of the workers and the peoples.

The British people have decided on the future of their country, in a sovereign way.

This fact must been hailed and respected, all the more so since this referendum was held in the context of enormous and unacceptable pressure and blackmail, namely by the big transnational economic groups and big finance capital, as well as by organisations such as the IMF, OECD and even the European Union itself.

This result is therefore also a victory against fear, supposed inevitabilities, submission and catastrophism.

The PCP greets in particular the British communists and other left-wing forces who — rejecting false dichotomies and opposing reactionary and xenophobic stances — assumed and asserted in the referendum their voice in defence of the values of democracy, labour and social rights, progress, tolerance, solidarity and co-operation between the peoples.

While not ignoring the many motivations that presided over the convening of this referendum, and a campaign that was instigated by elements of a reactionary nature and with overt political manipulation — which the PCP frontally rejects and opposes — the referendum’s results express, above all, the rejection of the European Union’s policies.

To all those who now irresponsibly promote the idea that these results represent a negative development, the PCP states that the exercise of the democratic and sovereign rights of a people cannot be viewed as a problem.

On the contrary, the British referendum reflects serious and deep-rooted problems that have long existed and which are the product of a process of integration that is corroded by contradictions, that is visibly exhausted and which is increasingly coming into conflict with the interests and just aspirations of the workers and the people.

The British referendum must therefore be seen as an opportunity to confront and solve the real problems of the people, calling into question the entire process of the European Union’s capitalist integration and opening up, in Europe, a new and different course of co-operation, social progress and peace.

Any measures or manoeuvres that ignore the political significance of this referendum, that conceal themselves behind the stigmatisation of the British people, that attempt to bypass or even subvert the will of that people, or which seek to take anti-democratic leaps forward, further concentrating powers within the EU, can only contribute to enhance the problems and contradictions which nourish the development of reactionary and far-right forces and stances, which have been growing in Europe and against which it is necessary to fight.

Forces and stances that have had an expression in the British referendum and which feed on the consequences of the European Union’s increasingly anti-democratic and anti-social policies of national oppression.

Once the process of detaching Britain from the European Union begins, the PCP underlines the need for, and importance of, measures and actions within the scope of Portuguese foreign policy which may, within the new context that has now arisen, guarantee national interests, the continuation of mutually advantageous relations of economic co-operation with Britain, and the interests of the Portuguese who work and live in that country.

The PCP stresses that the forthcoming European Council of June 28 and 29 must, as of now, lay the foundations for the convening of an inter-governmental summit, with a view to enshrining the reversibility of the treaties, the immediate suspension of the Fiscal Compact and its repeal, as well as the repeal of the Lisbon Treaty.

In a context in which it is undeniably evident that the European Union does not correspond to the needs of the workers and the people, the PCP underscores the necessity of courageously confronting the constraints emanating from the process of European capitalist integration, and at the same time, of embarking on a path of co-operation, based on sovereign states with equal rights.

In particular, the PCP stresses the need and urgency of Portugal preparing to free itself from submission to the euro, which has brought about so much harm to our country, in order to guarantee rights, jobs, production, development and sovereignty.

Joao Ferreira
Member of the PCP’s central committee

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