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.
The lengthy delay to Brexit necessary to avoid catastrophe requires participation in the European elections in May — but that is something we should embrace, not fear. At the moment, across most of Europe, the radical right is the main opposition to a discredited neoliberal establishment. What a difference it would make if our left-wing Labour Party of over half a million members championed a strong anti-austerity, pro-worker, pro-migrant, pro-democracy voice in the coming elections. It could be a game-changer.
We need a great debate in our movement about the policies needed, but we believe they should include campaigning for: •A European-wide Green New Deal based on public ownership and democratic planning •An end to “Fortress Europe” and the welcoming of migrants into the continent, along with defence of free movement within it •An end to austerity and levelling up of services and social provision across Europe •The scrapping of anti-worker regulations and levelling up of workers’ rights, including the right to strike, across Europe •Replacement of rules that discourage public ownership and investment with ones encouraging them •Democratisation of EU institutions, including a sovereign European Parliament.
Model motion circulated by Labour for a Socialist Europe and Another Europe is Possible
A million people marched against Brexit on 23 March, with thousands at the high-profile Left Bloc feeder rally whose sponsors included the new “Love Socialism Hate Brexit” group of left MPs. More than six million have signed the petition to revoke Article 50. Brexit will mean a victory for the nationalist right, a licence for further austerity and attacks on migrants.
But it can be stopped – if Labour throws itself into the fight. Labour should actively and publicly campaign for a confirmatory public vote and for “remain”. We should support the revocation of Article 50 in order to prevent No Deal or give the time necessary to hold a public vote. We call for an urgent special conference so that members’ and affiliates’ representatives can clearly decide our policy and plans and orient the party, collectively and democratically. Our opposition to Brexit does not mean supporting the status quo, in Britain or Europe. We want to “Remain and transform”.
We call for free movement and migrants’ rights to be extended, not curtailed: we oppose “Fortress Britain” and “Fortress Europe”. We restate conference 2018’s call for “a radical government: taxing the rich to fund public services, expanding common ownership, abolishing the anti-union laws and engaging in massive public investment”. We want an international alliance of labour movements and left parties seeking, at a minimum, to push back the nationalist right, defend migrants, reverse austerity, level up rights and living standards, and democratise European institutions.
We call for the European elections to go ahead and a “Remain and transform” Labour campaign on this basis. We also resolve to sponsor a public meeting with members of the Love Socialism Hate Brexit group of MPs.