(For this statement in printable/copyable form, with a model motion of support included - see here.)
Next year restrictions on migration from European Union member states Bulgaria and Romania are set to be lifted.
There is growing right-wing agitation for Bulgarian and Romanian workers to be excluded from Britain, treated as second class citizens without the right to remain, or denied access to services and benefits.
We oppose this bigotry, and say that migrants – from the EU or outside – should be welcome here. We support freedom of movement and equal rights for all. We deny that migrants are responsible for the “strain” on jobs and services. These are scarce not because of migration, but because the ruling class and its Coalition government are decimating them as part of making the majority pay for the crisis, to boost profits and the wealth of the rich. We need UK-born/migrant unity to fight for our rights.
Our movement should not engage in agitation against "Europe", which can only play into the hands of the nationalist right. The rise of UKIP is a threat we should take extremely seriously.
The EU is a capitalist institution dedicated to the interests of the rich. But so is the UK. Underlying the row in official politics over Europe is a struggle between different interest groups within the capitalist class. There is no sense in which workers and most people in Britain would be better off if Britain was outside the EU.
At the same time, the international capitalist crisis requires an international solution. Instead of agitating for Britain to leave the European Union, we want to build our own “union” of labour and social movement solidarity across Europe and beyond, to fight back attacks, fight to level up services, social provision and rights, and fight to expand democracy at a European and international level. We want a workers' united Europe.
To sign email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share widely.
All individual signatories are in a personal capacity unless their organisation is listed as supporting. Initial signatories include:
Patrick Murphy, National Union of Teachers national executive
Becky Crocker, RMT activist on London Underground
Roshni Joshi, South Downs College SU, National Union of Students national executive
Ruth Cashman, Lambeth UNISON Branch Secretary
Dan Jeffery, Lambeth UNISON Assistant Branch Secretary
Ravi Maitreya, NCAFC NC Black Power Rep
Michael Chessum, University of London Union President, NUS national executive
Daniel Lemberger Cooper, ULU Vice President
James McAsh, Edinburgh University Students' Association President
Hona-Luisa Cohen-Fuentes, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts women's committee
Chris Marks, Berkshire DWP PCS Branch Executive Committee
Omar Raii, UCL Union NUS conference delegate
Beth Redmond, activist at Liverpool John Moores University
Rosie Huzzard, Branch Chair PCS DWP Sheffield branch and NCAFC National Committee member
Ed Whitby, Newcastle City Council UNISON activist
Thais Yáñez, Birkbeck Uni SU Anti-Fascism Anti-Racism Officer, NCAFC National Committe LGBTQ
Tom Harris, Academic Affairs Officer, Royal Holloway SU
Jack Saffery-Rowe, NCAFC NC LGBTQ (open place)
Patrick Smith, Hull North CLP Secretary and UCU activist
Gemma Short, Rotherham NUT Academies Action officer
Liam McNulty, London Young Labour committee, University of London UNISON
Hannah Thompson, London Young Labour committee
Will Lodge, Father of the Chapel, Newsquest Essex (north) NUJ Chapel
Houzan Mahmoud, Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq UK representative
Esther Townsend, NCAFC Women's Committee
Jim Denham, Unite and Selly Oak Labour Party
Mike Shaw, NCAFC National Committee, Edinburgh University Student Association
Peter Radcliff, Broxtowe CLP Secretary and Derby UCU
Move/adapt this motion in your union branch, campaign group, student union etc.
1. The growing agitation against workers coming to the UK from Bulgaria and Romania.
2. David Cameron's promise of a referendum on EU membership.
3. The growth of the nationalist right, and in particular the rise of UKIP.
1. That “strain” on jobs and services is not caused by migration but by the government and employers decimating them in order to boost profits and the wealth of the rich at workers' expense.
2. That migrants, from the EU or outside, should be welcome here.
3. That while the EU is a capitalist institution, so is the UK – and that workers and the majority of people in Britain have nothing to gain from the UK leaving the EU.
4. That instead of calling for Britain to leave the EU we should be building labour movement and campaigning solidarity across Europe and beyond, to fight back attacks, fight to level up rights, and fight to expand democracy.
1. To issue a statement setting out this position and defending Bulgarian and Romanian workers.
2. To make links with migrant workers' organisations.
3. To sign the statement “Equal rights for migrant workers! For international working-class solidarity!”