Magazine of the Socialist Party in Australia

UK referendum on EU: Socialists say ‘Leave’

By Thiago d’Leones

Under pressure from a section of conservative MPs during the 2015 election, Prime Minister Cameron reluctantly promised a referendum on the United Kingdom’s (UK) membership of European Union (EU).

In June voters will be asked: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”.

Our sister group in England & Wales, the Socialist Party, is campaigning for a ‘Leave’ vote. One need only look to Greece to see why we say ‘leave’: the EU locks in endless austerity.

Our left ‘exit’ campaign has nothing in common with right’s campaign. Jeremy Corbyn’s capitulation to the right wing in the Labour Party was a lost opportunity to advance anti-austerity policies and split the conservative government.

The EU is unreformable. The European Parliament, the only institution to which EU citizens elect representatives, is a toothless body. The latest secret trade deal negotiated by the EU institutions, the TTIP, will increase privatisations, especially in health services. On the other hand, EU law rules out nationalisations and subsidies to state-owned companies.

British capitalism, meanwhile, exploits EU migrants, who are made second-class citizens. Migrants must be paid properly and allowed secure work. The net effect of EU membership is to add further hurdles to the daily struggle to defend working class interests.

For further analysis see: EU referendum can bring the Tories down