Two steps to stop Brexit


Statement from Socialist Resistance.

  1. We called for a vote to Remain in the referendum in 2016 as the Leave campaign was totally dominated by a nationalist and xenophobic reaction to globalisation. We did so in the knowledge that the EU is an undemocratic neoliberal institution, and is a necessary instrument for big business and finance in the era of globalised capitalism. Voting Remain was to defeat the far right.
  2. In the present situation, there is no space for a Left Brexit. Any such Left Brexit would have to be in the context of mass mobilisations and a radical left government confronting the neoliberal EU. This is even more obvious today.
  3. It was correct in the immediate aftermath of the referendum to state that it should be respected, as a re-run then would have been seen as a manoeuvre to overturn the decision.
  4. All forms of Brexit will entail economic disruption to a greater or lesser extent depending on whether it is a hard/no deal Brexit or a soft one. The cost of this disruption will be passed on to the working class and the poor who have not yet recovered from the crash in 2008. All Brexits, even soft ones, will also entail the loss of the democratic right of freedom of movement of people throughout the EU 28.
  5. Now, two and half years on, with the information out in the open as to the consequences of the various Brexit deals, the call for another referendum or people’s vote on any deal, including an option to Remain, is legitimate in the present circumstances. The issue of whether referendums are a good way to decide on government policy in general is a different discussion.
  6. We welcome the Labour Party position adopted at its recent conference in so far as it opposes any Tory deal, that there should be a general election if the Tories lose the vote in Parliament, and “if we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote”. This implies a referendum with the option to vote Remain and this should be in the Labour Party manifesto.
  7. But while Labour’s “six tests” means that they will vote against any Tory Brexit, these tests also commits Labour to “a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU” and the “the fair management of migration”. In other words a very soft Brexit without free movement of people.
  8. We continue to oppose any Brexit, including a soft one, and call for a vote against all Brexit options in Parliament and to Remain in the EU, including in a referendum.
  9. The Labour Party should adopt a position of opposition to all forms of Brexit, and take the leadership of the anti-Brexit movement. Failure to do so risks the Labour Party losing a general election and the future of the “Corbyn movement”.
  10. Given the crisis and meltdown of the Tories, the central agitational demand today is for the Tories to step aside and for a general election, followed by a referendum on the outcome of negotiations.
  11. While opposing the neoliberal and undemocratic EU, we support the call for “Another Europe” based on opposition to neoliberalism, popular democracy, respect for the rights of nations, freedom of movement for people, an end to fortress Europe and militarism, and for economic and political solidarity. We should sketch a new vision for the 21st century to update the “united socialist states of Europe”. We do not have any illusion that the EU, just like the UK, can be reformed and democratised without mass struggles.
  12. We will participate in mobilisations for another referendum or a “people’s vote” but we do not support the “People’s Vote” campaign as it is dominated politically by neoliberals and Europhiles. We support the “Another Europe is Possible” campaign and other similar European-wide campaigns.


Socialist Resistance, 25 November 2018

Share this:

3 Comments on Two steps to stop Brexit

  1. Phil Vellender // 26th November 2018 at 8:53 pm // Reply

    Foolish not to join in another Europe is possible when we joined the 700K march. You rightly write off the ultra leftism of Lexit – there is no left brexit- but refusing to have anything to do with that march is an error. Had you engaged that day you would have met ranks of nhs and other remain public sector workers a long with non aligned but left people. To describe them as Europhiles is silly like suggesting those on the 2003 March were daily mirror readers because the mirror bank rolled the placards. The reason many went on that march is because Labour has ignored the 48% who rejected Brexit since 2016, there is no left group organising those who subscribe to a left remain position in 2018 and the march gave us opponents of Brexit to make contacts and to build on the increasing sense that the tide is finally turning.
    So many attended that magnificent event, that they never reached the square to hear the speakers so the right wing platform was of little material interests to most of us. Of course it would be great to mobilise remain voters by means of a left leadership but the left has been pathetic with regard to the rights of European workers, free movement and anti Brexit left sympathisers. Many on that march went on the 2003 demonstration against Blair’s illegal war. This time they came with their children and grand children. This March was comprised of people who are internationalist in outlook or work with non UK workers. They are not Europhiles they just don’t want to live in a nationalist enclave- and neither as socialists should you.

  2. Fair points here, but it was a bit careless to use the term ‘Europhile’, thus unintentionally, no doubt, conflating the EU with Europe.

  3. I agree about not conflating being pro-EU with identifying as being European or pro-Europe. A better term would be EU-phile. In the present circumstances, identifying as being European is a progressive rejection of the nationalism and xenophobia of the right-wing Brexiteers. But much of the leadership of the Vote Leave Campaign is EU-phile, with illusions that the EU is a progressive form of capitalism which can protect us in Britain from the ravages of neoliberalism. I hope SR will change the term Europhile in that sentence.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.