Dear Comrades & Friends,

Here's what I think we should do in light of Brexit:

 

  • Oppose membership of the EEA, EU Single Market and European Customs Union and their free market fundamentalism.

  • Reject any transitional arrangements with the EU which prolong rule by the EU and its institutions.

  • Join the WTO and trade with the world, including the EU, on mutually beneficial terms.

  • Continue all possible cooperation with the EU in such fields as travel, education, science, security and the environment.

  • Grant permanent residency rights to all EU citizens who have settled in Britain before March 2019 - no deportations.

  • Negotiate an agreement with the EU in consultation with the Dublin and Belfast governments, which does not require customs or immigration posts along the North-South border.

  • Repeal all sections of EU law which restrict government powers to pursue left or progressive economic, financial, environmental and social policies.

  • Resist any attempt to repeal progressive provisions in transferred EU law.

  • Replace the free movement of labour by legislation to enforce equal terms for migrant workers within a framework of collective bargaining.

  • Repeal Britain's racist immigration, residency and citizenship laws which discriminate against non-Europeans.

  • Devolve powers repatriated from the EU to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh National Assembly and local government wherever possible.

  • Replace the Common Agricultural Policy with a system of direct support for production, investment and conservation.

 

I believe that the labour movement which now, thanks to Momentum and Jeremy Corbyn includes the Labour Party, should campaign for these policies. They have the potential of mobilising progressives from both LEAVE and REMAIN camps to challenge Tory orthodoxy.

Britain was taken into "Europe" by the snobbish, vindictive, perverted Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath. To prepare for this his government of very odd people first enacted the disgustingly racist Commonwealth Immigration Act and then gave away British fishing rights which a previous Labour Government had rightly or wrongly gone to war over.

During the referendum campaign I deliberately did not share a platform with UKIP and I only got the one chance to speak publicly. I ask the local Labour Party to revisit the discussions held at Labour Party conferences prior to the 1975 referendum, to read the treaties of the EU and to take note of what I have been saying for the past four decades.

 

Yours in comradeship

Gerrard Sables

 

 

This budget was bad for the environment with no new support for renewable energy until 2025 but with continuing tax write-offs for oil and gas drilling firms. Could it be a coincidence that the Conservative Party has been getting hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from people high up in the oil industry?

The National Health Service said it needed £4 billion but the budget has only allowed £1.6 billion. The public sector pay cap has not really been lifted nor has the freezing of below pension age benefits. The winter fuel allowance which Labour introduced in 1997 at £250 and the Coalition government reduced to £200 in 2011 remains the same despite energy prices going up and the winter mortality rate still at levels way above those of other northern European countries with harsher winters.

Tax dodging has not been dealt with in any meaningful way. Ninety-eight of the FTSE top 100 companies have over 8,000 subsidiaries in overseas tax havens. Hammond could have done something about this but he chose not to. In 1979 when Thatcher became prime minister Britain was the most equal society in western Europe. Successive Tory, New Labour and Coalition governments have allowed inequality to steadily increase until today we are now the least equal society in Europe. The wealth of the richest 1,000 increased by 14% last year according to the Sunday Times Rich List. Conservative chancellors do not see this as something to be ashamed of.

In today's Britain there are more people than I remember without homes or hope; many children go to school hungry; our benefit system fails to meet needs; our NHS is deliberately fragmented; our public services and local governments are starved of the cash they need to fulfil their legal obligations let alone do what they might want.

This has been a 'steady as she sinks' budget favouring tax dodging millionaires, mean employers, lousy landlords and oil magnates and doing nothing much for the rest of us.

 

Gerrard Sables

North Devon branch secretary

Communist Party