We communists back a left wing case for leave – what we call Lexit

Letters to Editor
Letters to Editor

Many people will have been repelled by the selective xenophobia of the Exit campaign, concluding there is little option than to vote to Remain in the EU for fear of being tarred with the same brush.

However we would all do well to consider the membership of the Remain Club – the combined forces of international capitalism, including the World Bank, IMF, multinationals, the US and of course the European Central Bank itself.

As a result of the Brexit campaign the idea a country might retain a degree of sovereignty and border control has been rendered toxic and even racist.

This despite the fact it is common place around the non EU world! Nor can it be in the interests of countries to see large numbers of their working population leave, many never to return.

The post WW II democratic consensus of full employment, public ownership and a welfare state has been systematically dismantled.

In the event of a vote to REMAIN we will see a continuing attack on the public sector and privatization of services as the EU moves towards federalism.

The next step is TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) an agreement with the most far reaching consequences to date.

In essence this elevates a multinational company to have the same status as national governments, will erode further the right of a state to protect its citizens and force states to go to a third party to justify its actions if a company deems these to have eaten into its profits!

Tell the people of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland the EU has equality as a priority. When equality has come up against the interests of employers the latter have won (check the Viking Line and Laval judgements).

There are those in the trade union and labour movement who argue that membership of the EU will protect our members’ rights and conditions. What have they got to say about:

(a) In Greece the destruction of wages, pensions, jobs, health care and the forced sale of public assets and enterprise on the insistence of the EU.

(b) In France the social democratic Presidents decision to proceed with legislation to remove the legal protection for working hours and wages on the insistence of the EU, despite political opposition, wide protest and national strikes.

(C) In Ireland the EU insistence that no more than 2% can be spent on social initiatives or infrastructure to alleviate the effects of austerity which was caused by irresponsible behaviour of world and European banks irrespective of GDP growth

Britain does pay in more than it receives. The Common Fisheries policy has decimated the local fishing industry. There is endemic waste through CAP. There is a trade imbalance which other countries will be loath to lose after a vote to leave. Of course we are under no illusions that money no longer spent on EU membership will used to replace current funding, which will in any event stop as other regions take precedence. We would have to fight hard to achieve this. The point is though we would be able to do so, a capacity we will lose if the vote is to Remain.

The consensus on the impact of Brexit on Ireland is that a ‘border with attitude’ is unlikely and even far-fetched. There are precedents for relaxed borders between member and non-member countries.

The headline debate reflects a disagreement about the way ahead for British capitalism and we are under no illusions regarding the anti-working class credentials of the Brexit Tories. However, a vote to Remain will further erode the capacity to defend living standards, the public sector and in particular the NHS.

The Communist Party of Ireland has opposed the ‘European Project’ in all its guises and we take no pleasure in saying what we predicted has happened.

We support a Left Exit campaign – a Lexit!

Lynda Walker, Northern Area Committee Communist Party of Ireland