The EU - Vote to Leave

The Communist Party in Britain has always opposed membership of the EU. This page brings together all of the articles on our site, past and present, that relate to the EU. The most recent items appear at the top of the list.
  • THE CONFLICT between the EU Commission and the misnamed Law and Justice government in Poland is a case — to adapt Oscar Wilde — of the unedifying in pursuit of the unspeakable.

    The irony of an unelected elite of bureaucrats in Brussels, together with the unelected President of the European Council, lecturing an elected national government on the virtues of democracy would normally occasion at least a wry smile.

    However, in this case the EU Commission is objecting to yet another reactionary move against Poland’s judiciary by a very reactionary regime in Warsaw.

    The sweeping powers to dismiss and appoint the country’s judges backed by the ruling Law and Justice Party do not bode well for civil and political liberties in Poland.

    The EU Commission professes concern about the “rule of law” and threatens to invoke Article 7.

    That would involve all EU member states unanimously agreeing to warn the Polish government about its conduct.

    This in turn could lead to Poland losing its voting rights in various EU institutions.

    Of course, it could be that all the fearsome pronouncements by Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and EU Council President Donald Tusk — a bitter political rival of Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski — are merely a melange of hot air and blether.

    The EU Commission has never lifted a finger to block anti-democratic measures taken against immigrants, trade unionists, socialists and communists in numerous EU member states.

    And as Kaczynski points out when calling the EU’s bluff: “Too many interests, including economic ones, want the possibility to further exploit Poland.”

    It’s certainly true that German big business led the way in buying up large parts of the former socialist economies of eastern Europe at bargain basement prices, followed by the capitalists of France, Britain and Italy.

    Western Europe’s capitalists also value that region’s position as a source of cheap migrant labour too much to expel Poland from the grip of EU free market fundamentalism.

    It would be a triumph of naivety over experience to imagine that EU bureaucrats and politicians would willingly destabilise these lucrative arrangements in the cause of civil and political liberties.

    At the same time, many thousands of Poles are protesting against their power-hungry, authoritarian regime in Warsaw.

    They deserve sympathy, but should drop any delusions that they have a staunch pro-democracy ally in Brussels or Strasbourg.

    If the EU Commission fights and wins this struggle over the Supreme Court Bill now before the Polish parliament, it will confirm the bureaucracy’s view that it should and can exercise sovereignty over democratically elected governments, whether the latter are progressive or reactionary.

    Should victory go Kaczynski and his right-wing MPs, they will feel encouraged to dismantle more of the fragile democratic and social rights of the Polish people.

    Ideally, therefore, victory needs to be won by the people of Poland, supported by democrats and progressives everywhere.


    This article appeared in The Morning Star on Saturday 22nd July 2107

  • Class Politics and the SNP

    In a multinational state, a degree of national autonomy is vital for any people wishing to express their own distinctive culture and identity. As nations, Scotland and Wales also have the right to determine their own futures, up to and including separation from England or Britain.

    These are questions of principle to which we adhere without qualification.

    However, when and how people should exercise their rights is a matter of judgement. As Lenin put it, advocating the right to divorce is not the same as proposing that a particular couple — let alone all couples — should actually get divorced.

    For socialists and communists, the fight for social justice and the transformation of society are paramount considerations. Would Scotland’s separation from Britain assist the working class in achieving a radically fairer society? Would it take the people of Scotland — let alone England and Wales — further down the path to a socialist society? Would it help create the conditions for socialist revolution?

    Moreover, there is a strong case for arguing that separation would divide the political class struggle — and what has been a largely united labour movement over the past 120 years — in two if not in three. This might create problems for the monopoly capitalists whose interests dominate the British state, but they would remain united in their ownership and control of the economy in all three nations.

    Most seriously for the working class, separatism weakens class consciousness and class politics, as shown by the SNP spring conference in Aberdeen at the weekend.

    There, the platform politics were entirely those of identity and grievance. Every significant problem faced by the Scottish people is, apparently, the fault of the Westminster government and the union. Capitalism with its class division of society was not mentioned. Big business is blameless.

    The SNP does not advocate socialism, nor steps towards it, nor even real independence.

    What kind of “independence” craves for continued membership of the European Union?

    This is the same EU whose rules have forced the Scottish government to hand over its Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) infrastructure projects to private-sector finance and control. The cost of resulting delays and extra unitary charges will have to be met by the Scottish government, the NHS and local authorities over the next 30 years.

    Five major projects must be retained on the publicsector balance sheet, diverting £1 billion from other spending plans.

    Despite all SNP pledges to the contrary, PFI is back with a bang in Scotland, where the public will end up paying more than £9bn for SFT projects — three times their capital value. Scotland’s official auditors are investigating.

    Yet so desperate is the SNP to leave Scotland’s biggest single market by far, namely Britain, and stay in the marginal European one that it emits not a squeak of protest about these EU diktats.

    Its “independence” in the EU means no Scottish sovereignty over public finances, the movement of capital, international trade, the importation of super-exploited labour, VAT or public-sector contract compliance; a Scotland bossed around by the EU Commission and European Central Bank, inside an EU wedded to Nato.

    How different that is from the perspective of progressive federalism in a Britain where wealth and power is redistributed to the working class in every nation and region.

    This article is from The Morning Star, 20th March 2017

  • The EU's commitment to capitalism.

    ALLOWING immigration to overshadow the EU referendum debate is not only bad for community relations — it’s bad for those who want the public to make an informed decision on June 23.

    EU membership should be about much more than how many people can or should enter Britain every year, however important that question is.

    Thus the Morning Star makes no apology for asking other important questions: how and in whose interests does the EU function?

    What does this mean for people’s jobs, living standards and quality of life?

    Does EU membership help or hinder strategies to develop a balanced, sustainable economy that serves the interests of working people, their families and communities?

    We have condemned the neoliberal, free market and monetarist economics cemented into the basic treaties of the EU.

    As the late Tony Benn once pointed out: “The EU has the only constitution in the world committed to capitalism … it destroys the prospect of socialism anywhere in Europe, making capitalism a constitutional requirement of that set-up.”

    Such a set-up also requires that enormous powers lie in the lap of unelected and — in practice where not in law — unaccountable bodies, namely, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Court of Justice.

    Remain campaigners point to the powers of our own unelected Civil Service, Bank of England, House of Lords, Supreme Court and monarchy.

    But the crucial difference is this: in Britain, these institutions are not constitutionally beyond the reach of our elected representatives. They can be reformed and even abolished.

    The recent Queen’s Speech raised the prospect of Britain having a Bill of Rights in the near future, drafted by this Tory government.

    What if this Bill were to specify that Britain shall have a “competitive market economy” based on the free movement of capital, goods and services? Any steps towards a planned economy would, in effect, be unlawful.

    Neither the Westminster, Edinburgh or Cardiff legislatures would be allowed to direct or impede the movement of capital in, out or within the countries of Britain.

    What if clauses in the Bill made it unconstitutional for elected governments to run an “excessive deficit” in their public finances, or to subsidise public or private enterprises for strategic economic, social or environmental reasons?

    What if another clause banned governments from using our central bank to fund investment projects through the purchase of public-sector bonds (what shadow chancellor John McDonnell calls “people’s quantitative easing”)?

    Indeed, the Bill would make clear that the central bank must be independent of Parliament and government altogether, guaranteed by a constitution that can only be changed by near unanimous agreement.

    Furthermore, this Tory draft Bill would also grant sweeping new powers to the Civil Service, including the sole right to propose legislation, draft the national budget and monitor the compliance of the British, Scottish and Welsh governments with strict limits on their borrowing and debt.

    The Civil Service would also have the right to intervene in the legislative process, address MPs on its own insistence and prevent the establishment of a parliamentary committee of inquiry.

    Henceforth, too, as a matter of constitutional imperative rather than government policy, security and defence policy would have to be compatible with Nato policy. Indeed, it must “contribute to the vitality of a renewed Atlantic alliance.”

    Who on the left in Britain would vote for such a Bill of Rights? Yet such clauses are to be found in the two basic treaties of the EU and apply to all member states. This is what socialists and trade unionists will be endorsing on June 23 if they vote to remain in the EU.

    This article is from The Morning Star, Monday 30th May

  • A letter of support for Lexit

    Published below is an edited extract from a Lexit supporter which shines some light on the 'special relationship' between the UK and US governments. The author of this is a relative of one of our branch members and has asked to remain anonymous.




    I am 79 years old and wish to speak out. I am not yet a communist party member but support your parties stance on both the Lexit campaign and opposition to TTIP. USA’s Special Relationship with the UK is of a controlling capitalist force; far from a friendship. This is historically true and in fact worse than the public know. I mentioned history so here's some to think about.
    First the War of Independence 1774 – 1793. A result of the 13 British Colonies in North America rebelling against Britain imposing Taxes, Laws and General Control of their lives and living. Today Britain is in the same position with the EU dictating what we can and cannot do.

    How dare Obama tell us to stay in when it has nothing to do with the USA and his country went to war over the same issues in 1774. He quoted the special relationship between our two countries yet the USA only entered WW2 because of the invasion of Hawaii by the Japanese in 1942, three years after the start of the war.
    There is also the w
    ar on the 'Red Empire': How America planned for an attack on BRITAIN in 1930 with bombing raids and chemical weapons• Plan Red was code for massive war with British Empire•
    In 1930, a mere nine years before the outbreak of World War Two, America drew up proposals specifically aimed at eliminating all British land forces in Canada and the North Atlantic, thus destroying Britain's trading ability and bringing the country to its knees. Previously unparalleled troop movements were launched as an overture to an invasion of Canada, which was to include massive bombing raids on key industrial targets and the use of chemical weapons, the latter signed off at the highest level by none other than the legendary General Douglas MacArthur. 

    America only wants to control. We must fight TTIP and vote how we choose to. I'm for Lexit.

    Name and address supplied


  • Twelve Myths About the EU

    This pamphlet from the Communist Party exposes twelve common myths peddled about EU membership.

    Is the EU a source of employment? Is the EU a source of workers rights and benefits? Has the EU really brought peace to Europe? Can the EU be reformed?


  • Time for Trade Unionists to Wake Up from a Long Slumber

    John Haylett explains in the Morning Star, why the only sensible vote in the referendum for trade unionists and socialists is to withdraw from the EU.

    Twenty-eight years since French diplomat Jacques Delors was invited to the TUC Congress at Bournemouth to schmooze delegates about the delights of a "social Europe" the penny still hasn’t dropped with many in the trade union movement.

    Only rail unions Aslef and RMT, together with the bakers’ BFAWU, have thrown their weight behind the movement to leave the EU. The rest either play the Emperor’s New Clothes game of claiming still to be able to discern a "social Europe" or accept that things aren’t too good but suggest they can be changed.

  • EU Membership Prevents Socialism

    As the dust settles on the Prime Minister’s much-vaunted "renegotiation" of the terms on which he hopes Britain will remain a member of the European Union, the media have quickly moved on to the soap opera of which leading Tories will end up on which side.

    Pundits can hardly be blamed for not focusing on the detail of the supposed concessions David Cameron has snatched from Brussels.

    The "emergency brake" on in-work benefits for migrants who are working and paying tax in Britain is not only a demonstration of the Nasty Party’s nastiness, but is also of a piece with the Tory war on all workers, whether born here or abroad: the Institute for Fiscal Studies says 2.6 million families will be an average £1,600 worse off each year as they are moved from tax credits to universal credit.

    As for the celebrated treaty amendment, stating that the commitment to "ever closer union" does not apply to Britain, this certainly does not mean Britain "can never be forced into political integration."

    Provisions in the Stability and Growth Pact preventing governments from borrowing to invest in their country's economic future, clauses in the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties prohibiting state aid for industry and demanding the privatisation of public monopolies - such rules have political repercussions.

  • Solidarity with People of Greece Against EU Diktats

    THE working class and people of Greece have shown great courage and fortitude in voting against the austerity and privatisation measures demanded by EU finance ministers, the EU Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and IMF.

    But, despite fine words about respecting “democracy” and the Greek nation, this referendum result will be treated with the same contempt by politicians, bureaucrats and bankers as all the others which do not agree with proposals from the EU Commission.

    The Greek people’s defensive salvo will now meet with a renewed offensive on behalf of the Commission, the eurogroup and the ECB to impose the kind of anti-democratic, anti-working class and anti-people programme tabled by unelected EU Commission “president” Jean-Claude Juncker.

  • Unite Against Fascism or Kip

    The Racist Spread 
    Made for crusty, British bread 

    Farage, Farage 
    You suave fromage 
    Mad white folks messiah 
    A Mosley visage 

    Your followers, bland 
    Eat the flavour of fear 
    We will never forget 
    The last time you were here 

    The future is bold 
    We have taste, we have vision 
    You out-of-date-mould 

    Farage, Farage
    We are neighbours and friends
    Your elite-white-collage?
    Marx my words is at end!

    Mrs BJ Treglown