INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM, NOT SOCIALISM IN ONE COUNTRY: On the UK Left’s relation with Europe – Open Labour document

17/07/2018 by

Socialism is internationalist. As socialists, we ought to be taking down borders between workers; not putting new ones up. Labour deserves, at a minimum, the same rights and freedoms as capital if we are to be masters of the system, not its servants. The political aim of the Left has always been to improve labour, social and environmental conditions. At present, the goal of the UK Left should be to place ourselves ahead of the standards set by the EU. This means that we view EU regulations as a base not as a ceiling. The principle of a rule governed European Single Market should only ever worry the regressive Right, never the progressive Left. If we detach ourselves from the EU and advocate an isolationist socialism – then when production leaves the UK, the neo-liberal response will always be to cut our wages, to cut our rights, to cut our safety protections and to cut our environmental regulations. What will we have left to fight them? To rephrase Frank Owen, the hero of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: …will the good kind capitalists save our hard-won rights if we tax all foreign-made goods?

Why is this Pamphlet important? In this pamphlet we outline the future options for a new EU-UK relationship:

  1. Staying in the EU

  2. The Customs Union

  3. A Customs Union III. Norway, an EEA option and/or a new Single Market option

  4. A Free trade deal

  5. No deal

Contributions by:

  • Yanis Varoufakis, DiEM25 co-founder, MeRA25 Secretary  (page 28)

  • Richard Corbett MEP (page 40)

  • Catherine West MP (page 11)

  • Manuel Cortes, General Secretary TSSA (page 17)


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