European Union

Fight for a socialist Europe

Author

Editorial

Boris Johnson is likely to become the new Tory leader and prime minister, some time in the week after 22 July. If by some fluke he throws the leadership contest, almost surely someone equally hard-Brexit will win. This sharpens the choices on Brexit, and narrows further the space for temporising.

Johnson is less a right-wing ideologue, and more a mainstream opportunist, than Mario Salvini in Italy. But his choice is to project the Tories so as to appear as Brexiter as Farage (and thus recoup votes). His choice is to cut away from the EU and to veer towards Trump.

Corbyn: oppose Brexit!

Author

Editorial

Boris Johnson and most other candidates want to have Britain out by 31 October, even if that means a no-deal Brexit and a new hard border in Ireland. Dominic Raab says he might “prorogue” Parliament — send the MPs home — to prevent MPs stopping no-deal. Michael Gove says he might consider a “short” delay, but that would be to finalise a supposed “alternative to the Irish backstop” which May’s efforts over many months have shown to be illusory.

Corbyn is reactionary on Europe

Author

Sean Matgamna

Labour’s victory in the Peterborough by-election on 6 June was of course good news. It was also bad news. It seemed to vindicate the Labour leadership’s political cloak-work and shilly-shallying on the EU.

Euro elections: left is still floundering

Author

Michael Elms

In the 23-26 May 2019 elections to the European parliament, social-democratic parties and left-of-the-left parties floundered in the face of rising nationalism.

The mainstream social-democratic group in the European Parliament lost 45 seats; the left-of-the-left grouping lost 13. The mantle of “left” opposition to the rising right seems to have gone to the Greens and Liberal Democrats, who gained 19 and 42 seats respectively across the continent. At the time of writing, it seems likely that the European Parliament will remain dominated by parties of the mainstream right.

Labour: lead fight against Brexit!

Author

Sean Matgamna

Comrade Corbyn!

Your wishy-washy politics on Brexit are usually explained as electoral manoeuvring in an attempt to attract both anti-Brexit internationalists and pro-Brexiters to the Labour Party. It is likely to satisfy neither. “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth”, as somebody said a long time ago. But even should your calculation here prove to be accurate, your approach is wrong in principle.

Against Farage, for Labour, against Brexit

Over 80 people turned out for a “Love Socialism Hate Brexit” meeting in Nottingham on 8 May, despite the Euro-election campaign being already underway. Many were students from the Nottingham Trent University, where the meeting was held. Every speaker from the platform, and almost every speaker from the floor, stressed their support for the post-2015 anti-austerity direction of the Labour Party, but deep concerned about fragmentation of Labour votes and Labour’s failure over Brexit to campaign against rampant nationalism.

A letter to a Lib Dem-voting friend

Author

Bruce Robinson

You texted me saying “I am seriously considering voting Lib Dem in the European Elections. Can’t believe I’m writing this. Am I mad?”. My first response was “Yes”.

However I recognise that there are many people like you — lifelong Labour voters and people who supported Corbyn in the leadership elections — who are angry about Labour’s failure to support a remain position and a referendum on Brexit and find it unacceptable that Labour can enter European elections with no clear position on this key issue.

Left needs clearer Euro-message

Author

Michael Elms

On 18 April, the European Parliament posted polling projections for the 2019 European elections. The projections show the European People’s Party (the big alliance of "centre-right" parties, though not including the British Tories) on track to remain the largest party in the Parliament – but by a slimmer majority. The figures had the EPP falling from 217 to 180 seats.

Labour must plan for Euro-poll

Author

Sacha Ismail

Against the dystopia of a No Deal Brexit, Labour must offer an opportunity for voters to assert democratic control both over the Brexit process and over other aspects of our lives.

"Labour for a Socialist Europe": the 9 March conference and after

The crisis of parliamentary politics over Brexit is one of the biggest such crises ever.

There is ferment in the electorate at large and especially in the Labour Party on the issue. The outcome remains very open. At least some delay of Brexit beyond 29 March is likely.

Those facts set the frame for what the 9 March conference of "Labour for a Socialist Europe" can hope to achieve.

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