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Support for the EU deal is the only credible and socialist position

The deal would end the control of the unelected, neoliberal commissioners and anti-worker European Court of Justice, writes DOUG NICHOLLS

THE 27 countries in the EU support the deal negotiated by Britain to leave in an orderly manner.

The EU’s most doting supporters are now opposing their masters and, by gearing up to vote the deal down on Saturday, prove what we knew all along, that they have no loyalty to either their own country or their beloved Brussels.

Whatever way you cut it, any parliamentary manoeuvre to vote against the deal is playing politics, and playing politics with potentially dangerous consequences. 

The backlash against any parliamentary blocking of democracy will be fierce. The uncertainty caused by continuing delay will deepen distracting divides and harm the economy.

The deal ends the control of the unelected, neoliberal commissioners and anti-trade union, anti-worker European Court of Justice.

It ends the fiscal constraint rules of the EU that have devastated our public services.

It ends the procurement rules that have reduced our industries to rubble.

It brings our territorial waters back under our control and lays the basis of re-establishing our fishing industries.

It brings our borders back under our national control, enabling us to begin proper labour market planning.

It gets rid of the Common Agricultural Policy and compels us to construct a greener, more self-reliant plan to produce more of our own food.

It ends the dark policy underpinning the economy whereby the EU demanded Britain focus on financial services instead of real production and a balanced economy. 

It means we can avoid becoming embroiled in the EU’s developing common military policies and formation of an army.

Above all it cleanly removes us from the single market and customs union, which is why many say it is worse than the May deal.

It therefore frees our elected Parliament from the control of those we don’t elect.

It puts our country back in our own hands.

This is why the fearmongers who say it will lead to deregulation and a handover to the US miss the point.

We want neither a special relationship with the US and a takeover by its cruel corporations, nor continuing control by Brussels and its equally cruel corporations, many with historic roots in support for fascist regimes.

We have only ourselves to rely on to assert our independence.

To say the deal means a right-wing government will go on the rampage belies the hope and confidence that has been generated in the transformative power in our movement. 

This is embodied in the recent CWU vote and the campaign for a new deal for workers and the general political and economic inspiration of “for the many, not the few.”

EU membership embedded the neoliberal capitalist agenda in constitutional form. This was followed through by treaty after treaty, directive after directive over which we had no say.

The cumulative effect of these has been the most prolific deregulation of 28 countries in history. 

If the United States had done to Greece what the EU did there may have been greater uproar.

The EU trashed employment rights, ratcheted up unemployment and brought individual countries to their knees.

Privatisation and disposal of national assets were the name of the EU game as it presided over the biggest redistribution of wealth from the many to the few since the Norman conquest.

The eurozone is collapsing. Germany, its motor, is stalling.

Calls for remaining in the EU are dead. There are no prospects of a second referendum to deepen the civil war. 

The EU really won’t renegotiate again. No extension of Article 50 is needed, nor probably possible and it would be humiliating to ask. The nonsense Benn Act is dead and was rightly dubbed the Surrender Act.

A general election cannot resolve the terms of a withdrawal agreement and those calling for Remain in an election will be trounced. 

A vote of no confidence in the government requires a two-thirds majority in the Commons, which is impossible.

For Parliament on Saturday to reject the opportunity the people have given it to set the country free from outside control and carve a new path for the improvement of the lives of all those living in Britain would precipitate a general election, which would consolidate domestic neoliberal forces and flatten Labour.

The noise about creating a Scotland split from Britain and dependent on the unelected in Brussels will be silenced once we are out of the EU and be even more blatantly against the material and political interests of the people in Scotland.

Support for the EU deal on Saturday is the only credible and socialist position. Equally we must generate the demand in every workplace for a new deal for workers. 

Compel the general election by raising our demands for a better life when our policies to rebuild and transform Britain will command not just a majority, but represent a tidal wave of change.

Out of our shackles at last. As William Blake said: “No bird flies too high that flies with its own wings.”

Doug Nicholls is chair of Trade Unionists Against the EU.


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