50 thoughts on “‘European Union tone-deaf on Brexit referendum’

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  6. Tuesday 23rd August 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    ON A Mediterranean island, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy are thrashing out their preferred terms for Britain to leave the EU.

    And it should come as no surprise either that teams of City financiers and Whitehall civil servants are working on how they want to play the exit negotiations.

    The British ruling class is one of the most experienced and strategically minded on the planet. Its thinkers and planners will be considering all the options and contingencies.

    At the core of that ruling class are the financial monopoly capitalists, whose investments span not only the financial sector here but across much of the globe.

    British elites also exercise decisive control over almost every branch of industry through their key shareholdings, interlocking directorships and stranglehold over banking and credit.

    They have spearheaded the drive for deregulation, privatisation and capitalist globalisation.

    Most of the City’s fat cats and their institutions wanted the people of Britain to vote Remain in the June 23 referendum on EU membership.

    They recognised the leading role played by the EU in breaking down barriers to big business profiteering, not only within Europe but also through global bodies such as the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund, as well as through trade and investment pacts with other major players in the capitalist world market.

    They also understood that much of the EU bluster about financial regulation, subsidiarity and a “social Europe” is largely window-dressing.

    They had applauded the EU as it rescued their devalued bonds by pounding the people of Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus into penury.

    But now these same monopolists have to deal with the democratic vote to take Britain out of the EU.

    The British Bankers Association, TheCityUK and other bodies want a bilateral agreement with the EU which maintains a Europe-wide “free market” in financial services.

    They fear a loss of lucrative business in London bailing out financial contracts denominated in euros.

    The same kind of “free market” would also aim to preserve the freedom to export capital from Britain to Europe and the rest of world, together with the right to establish financial businesses anywhere in the EU.

    The central involvement of Baroness Vadera, Lord Mandelson and other New Labourites in this strategy should ring alarm bells in the labour movement.

    The free movement of capital and commodities — including super-exploited migrant labour — is neither a socialist nor even a progressive aspiration when financial monopolies are calling the shots. The labour movement must clarify and unite around its own agenda for the EU negotiations to steer Brexit towards the left.

    The preliminary agenda for next month’s Trades Union Congress displays encouraging signs that this is beginning to happen.

    But rebuilding labour movement unity around such an approach needs to be based on two principled positions.

    First, Britain should not remain in any European “free market” which prevents a British government from intervening to regulate, plan or nationalise any part of the economy.

    Whether such action is to direct capital into productive industry, save the steel industry or outlaw inferior employment terms and conditions for migrant — or “posted” — workers, elected governments and parliaments must, like trade unions, be free to take action.

    Second, the people’s vote to leave the EU must be respected and implemented, not blocked or rerun.

    Anything less would be a violation of democracy and risk handing millions of votes to the right-wing nationalists of Ukip.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5114-Brexit-must-be-steered-left#.V7zFFTWZ0dU

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  36. Thursday, 4 May 2017

    ‘Stand and Deliver’ – EU highwaymen demand 100bn euros!

    THE attempt of the political representatives of the EU to make the UK working class stand and deliver up to, or even over, 100bn euros (£84bn), as the price for being allowed to leave the EU, must rank as an attempt to execute the biggest robbery with violence in history.

    This robbery plan is in fact a desperate attempt to shore up the already collapsing European Union of the bosses and bankers by turning the working class of the UK into paupers and slaves, as a warning to the workers of the entire EU as to what will happen to them and their families if they dare to engage in mutiny.

    Also, the would-be masters of Europe know that following the experiences with Greece and Ireland they will be able to bend the ruling class of the UK, or a section of it, to be their quislings if they stand firm, are ruthless and win. So the EU highwaymen intend to proceed whatever the cost.

    They also know that if they don’t stand firm and act ruthlessly they will face a ‘Frexit’ and following it the break-up of the EU with the defection of Italy, Spain and other countries! After all, in Ireland as part of their offer to bail out its banks, after the 2008-10 banking crash, they insisted on an enforced mass emigration of Irish youth to all points of the globe to the extent that entire areas of the country are completely depopulated and ruined, while the living standards and jobs of the working class are being devastated.

    In Greece, the movement of the workers against massive EU austerity even achieved a political revolution with the eruption of the Syriza movement with a massive ‘NO’ referendum vote against further austerity.

    It is a matter of record that the Syriza leadership was incapable of standing up to the bankers and bosses of the EU, despite all the left words, and capitulated, leaving the masses of Greek workers subject to unending austerity that is still continuing.

    On May Day there was a general strike in Greece against the latest EU austerity measures. Greece now needs to legislate the new measures – which include an 18 per cent pensions cut and opening up the energy market to EU big business competition – before eurozone finance ministers will approve the disbursement of loans.

    As well as the pensions cut, Athens has now agreed to sell coal-fired plants and coal mines equal to about 40 per cent of its dominant power utility Public Power Corp’s capacity. Greece needs the funds urgently to repay 7.5 billion euros in debt maturing in July! Germany, whose banks are one of the main lenders, has meanwhile noted that the work is not yet complete!

    In his new book, the Syriza ex-Chancellor Varoufakis relates that when Greek PM Tsipras capitulated to the bankers’ demands, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, admitted to him that German bankers were prepared to bankrupt Greece and grind the Greek people into the ground as an object lesson to the working class of Europe that they would share this fate if they resisted.

    Varoufakis recounts how Germany blocked a Chinese rescue deal for Greece. At the height of the crisis, Varoufakis reveals the Syriza government went in fear that the EU leaders were planning a military coup. His advice to May is not even to negotiate. However, she will, and it is clear that May who is demanding a huge majority in the June 8 election to stand up to the bosses and bankers of Brussels will at the end of a good argument use that majority for massive actions to make the UK working class pay the 90bn euros or more of the settlement that she will agree to.

    The way forward for the UK working class is clear and revolutionary. On June 8, it must bring down the Tories and tell the incoming Labour government that it will bring it down if it does not break immediately with the EU and organise, with the workers of Europe, to bring the EU down, and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.

    The only party that is showing revolutionary leadership in this situation of crisis is the WRP. We are standing five candidates in the general election. We urge workers to vote WRP where you can, and to join our party throughout the country to provide the working class with the revolutionary leadership that it requires and will be decisive in the situation immediately ahead!

    http://wrp.org.uk/news/13209

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