Why a vote for Brexit is a progressive act
Wednesday June 22, 2016 23:18 by 1 of Indymedia post at people dot ie
People's News - No. 148 12 June 2016 Issue -covering Brexit and TTIP
The People's Newsletter from the People's Movement in their bi-monthly newsletter carry an article on Brexit which is topical given that the British go to the polls on it this Thurs 23rd June. The various opinion polls show it to be relatively close.
The article here from the People's Movement puts forward good Left wing arguments why Britain should leave and they are good reasons for Ireland to leave too. The impression given is that the Brexit referendum was agreed to because of political pressure from the people. It is likely though that there are considerable powerful interests within the elite want to leave as they see their chances to be better off in the long run, yet those arguments not discussed here would be more issues within national capitalist faction.
The other article in this months newsletter is
Latest PEOPLE’S NEWS covers TTIP and Brexit | 10 Reasons Irish People in the North of Ireland, & Britain, Should Vote "Leave" | People Before Profit Call for Left Exit from EU | WSM: Observations on Brexit and Lexit in the UK EU membership referendum | Socialist Party: Brexit: Reject this club of bosses & bankers
PEOPLE’S NEWS - News Digest of the People’s Movement
Why a vote for Brexit is a progressive act
The People’s Movement is urging Irish people in Britain and Northern Ireland to vote “leave” in the referendum on 23 June. Here is a link to the case for a vote to leave the European Union: Exit 6: Northern Ireland, Democracy, and the EU Referendum outlines the Brexit case from the democratic and internationalist viewpoint that is central to the People’s Movement’s opposition to the EU.
The European Union now has its own government, with a legislative, executive and judicial arm, its own political president, its own citizens and citizenship, its own human and civilrights code, its own currency, economic policy and revenue, its own international treaty - making powers, foreign policy, foreign minister, diplomatic corps and United Nations voice, its own crime and justice code and Public Prosecutor’s office. It already possesses such state symbols as its own flag, anthem, motto, and annual “Europe Day.”
The constitution of the EU — the Treaty of Rome and its amending treaties — is in reality the first state or quasi-state constitution in modern history to be drawn up without the slightest democratic element, entirely in the interests of transnational Big Business.
The EU process is for shifting a myriad of government functions from the national level, where they have traditionally been under the control of democratically elected parliaments and governments, to the supranational, where the bureaucrats of the EU Commission have the monopoly of legislative initiative and where technocracy rules. It gives explicit primacy to EU law over national law.
In most years nowadays arguably the majority of laws that are put through the national parliaments of the EU member states come from Brussels, although most people do not realise this.
Most cases before the EU Court of Justice are concerned with enforcing the EU’s foundational “four freedoms”: free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour. These erect the basic principles of classical laissez - faire into constitutional imperatives. No government or elected parliament may legally violate or change them, regard less of the wishes of their voters.
Any move entailing changes to the EU treaties requires the unanimous agreement of the governments of all twenty eight EU member states. Any changes to the other rules require either unanimity or a qualified majority. This is the practical problem facing those who contend that “another Europe is possible” by reforming the EU at the supranational level in the hope of making it more democratic, or who think that the EU can be transformed into a so-called “Social Europe.”
Successive EU treaties have also laid down a deeply right - wing economic agenda. This has resulted in the interests of the banks and big corporations being put before those of the people. The most glaring examples of this have happened in the Republic and in Greece.
Thinking strategically about TTIP and CETA
There is widespread opposition throughout the EU and the United States to TTIP and CETA. Both trade agreements could open the way for business corporations based in the EU to take legal action against entire states whose national regulations on health, labour or environmental standards are regarded as “barriers” to trade, or affect corporate profitability, and would amount to a takeover of fundamental powers of government by representatives of corporate capital, operating, in the European context, in conjunction with the EU bureaucracy.
For the remainder of the text on this see the PDF below...
A PDF copy of the People's Movements newsletter is available at the link below.
From No. 146 8th May 2016 Issue http://www.people.ie/news/PN-148.pdf
The UK referendum on 23 June:
Why you should vote to leave the EU
The European Union now represents the biggest threat to workers’ rights, public services, and the right of nations, including the Irish nation, to have control over their own affairs.
It is no longer an area of economic cooperation but an emerging superstate, where people’s interests and welfare are subordinated, by law, to those of the market and big business.
A British withdrawal would force a re-evaluation of all existing EU treaties and would encourage the growing Europe-wide popular opposition to the denial of national democracy and independence that is at the heart of the EU.
EU in disarray
The EU is an inward-looking shrinking market, mired in recession, with a dysfunctional currency and high unemployment. The Greek and refugee crises have exposed the “solidarity” on which the EU is supposedly based.
But EU rules, laid down by various treaties, mean that the EU cannot be reformed from within, because just one state, such as Germany, can veto reform.
How does membership of the EU threaten the NHS?
Continuing EU membership means that two transatlantic treaties, TTIP and CETA, being negotiated in secret by the EU, would allow the privatisation of the NHS. Privatisation would then be impossible to reverse.
TTIP and CETA would also enable companies to sue governments where policy measures might harm profits.
A British withdrawal from the EU would create a major obstacle to the adoption of TTIP and CETA.
But will a British withdrawal re-establish a border between North and South?
No. Both right and left in Britain recognise the importance of trade between Ireland and Britain, and no-one wants to obstruct that.
Equally, the existing Common Travel Area predates either country joining the EU, and will survive British withdrawal, just as Norway, a non-EU country, has kept its common travel area with Sweden and Denmark, which are in the EU.
Will we lose EU funding?
Inside or outside the EU, the North’s funding has been under threat by the Tory government; but Britain itself gives more money to Europe than Europe sends back, so the money the North gets from the EU will still be available in the event of withdrawal.
Regional Grants, Structural Funds, Farm Payments and “Peace Process” funding are in fact taxpayers’ money that is just recycled through Brussels.
The European Convention on Human Rights and its human rights court at Strasbourg — not the EU — guarantee our human rights. Voting “Leave” will not affect existing human rights protections.
Only a tenth of the of the British economy is involved in trade with the EU. A country does not have to be a member of the EU to trade with it; so trade with the EU and with the world outside it will continue in the event of a “Leave” vote.
• Remain tied to a failing experiment in building a European superstate run by non-elected Brussels bureaucrats; or
• Have confidence in your own democratic achievements and assert the right of peoples to decide their own laws and international policies as the only basis on which to build a truly progressive society in Ireland.
From: Socialist Party: Brexit: Reject this club of bosses & bankers ....this sums up the EU nicely .....
Could we not stay in and reform the EU?
The EU has almost no mechanisms of democratic accountability, with central decision making in the hands of the European Council – the heads of government of the 28 member states – and an increasingly powerful, unelected European Commission. Those running them are contemptuous of democracy. Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström’s attitude to anti-TTIP campaigners sums this up: “I do not take my mandate from the European people.”
The elected European Parliament is little more than a rubber stamp without the ability to initiate legislation. The majority of MEPs are at the beck and call of an army of 20,000 corporate lobbyists.
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Here is George Monbiot's take on the referendum.
It seems hard to know which is out of the frying pan and which is into the fire!!
So amazingly Britain voted to leave by 52% to 48% and even more surprising all the main political parties were united in that Britain should stay. This result therefore says something very important in how the majority of people in Britain feel the system has not served them well.
The result raises a number of questions, the first is will Britain actually leave? Will they do an Irish on it and get them to vote twice? And will the political forces, clearly in shock wage a campaign to block it on legal grounds and other methods.
At an EU level, the Danes are not happy with the EU and it is thought up to 45% want to leave. Netherlands is in a similar position and efforts may be made there to have a referendum on leaving. The Greeks surely must realize that despite the victory of Syriza government they have been betrayed and the EU has got its boot firmly on their heads with no prospect of removing it soon.
Paul Murphy got it right today on the RTE Radio 1 (on the special program after 9am) when he said the key is the type of negotation Britain will go for to leave and that rather than leaving with a right-wing strategy, that it is essential that Jeremy Corbyn leads a Left wing exit and moves away from the undemocratic and neoliberal policies of the EU and to a relationship with Europe which is people centric and promotes human values rather than the right wing agenda.
This result will surely have some influence on what happens next with the undemocratic, sovereignty losing, neoliberal EU-US TTIP deal and hopefully can help halt it in its tracks.
There are of course wider and longer term issues here. The referendum itself has been presented as a sop (that went wrong) to the people of Britain but it would never have got this far without some support from some factions inside the elite. Such a faction would be the one that sees the global dominance of the US dollar is nearing the end and therefore their global dominance despite current efforts by the US to destroy, stomp on, dictate and heavily influence every country. These people see that membership of the EU might hamstring their efforts to deal with a combined powerhouse of China and Russia and by forging ahead get a better deal for Britain than they might otherwise get as a block within the EU. It ought to be recognized that the states of the EU at the moment are simply vassels of the USA, and the polices of the EU amount to political and economic suicide from agreeing to the sanctions against Russia which has cost the EU dearly and totally against their own self interest, to the simmering chaos in the Ukraine that threatens to spill over, to the flood of immigrants from countries bombed by the US and Syria where the US and it allies through the proxy of Saudi Arabia and Turkey have supported and unleashed the ISIS monster that has driven millions of desperate people towards EU and has caused huge internal political tension. The EU-US TTIP agreement itself is also determetrial to Europe at the level of the ordinary citizen and the agreement itself has been pushed all the way by the US. The TTIP agreement combined with the TTP for the Pacific region but excludes China, is the economic tool which the US intends to excercise control globally and retain its hegemony.
To put the backdrop of US dominance is perspective, the might of the US rests on the might of the dollar which was once a gold backed currency. It also rested on the huge industrial base, it's large market and after World War II, the took up the reign of the global dominant power from Britain. Since then things have changed, the industrial base has largely moved to China, the resources are much more depleted and the dollar is now a fiat currency as are most of the other ones, but the difference is that for the past decade or so, China and Russia have been steadily stock piling gold and when the time is right they will make their move. Up to recently all international trade including the buying of oil on world markets had to be done in dollars. For the Russians' this was very costly as they had to buy dollars. Since last year China and Russia agreed to drop the dollar in oil trade and other areas. The role of the Chinese yuan is increasing and can only increase further and they have the biggest pot of gold to back it. All the others have is their credibility and that is a waning currency in terms of the past 15 years of US influence in the world.
Therefore for those in Britain who have been watching these longer term trends and evolution of world events may in time be seen to have a clearer picture and their position might look as bad as it seems today at least from a trade and economic perspective. The political and democratic future is still very much uncertain either way.
There is a lot of nonesense spouted in the media about what this means by mainstream pundits and what they all do in common is to ignore the undemocratic right wing nature of the EU and the bigger world events that have been unfolding. Instead they have to resort to the latest tweak in the markets and whip up hysteria with scare stories and threats.
Anybody who thinks that the powers-that-be will merely follow through on the message from the electorate in the British State and do the Brexit is wrong. They are ignorant of the fact that democracy runs contrary to the exercise of executive power in ol' Blithey. The Establishment in England will rule in their social and economic interests, whilst paying lip service to popular mandates yadda, yadda.
What we're gonna see is not BrExit but a political fudge. Over the next 12 months the Westminister govt will negotiate the finer points of a obstensively altered relationship with the EU. But in reality nothing will substantially change.
The new arrangements will be the continuation of the British State's relationship with the EU minus the Single Market i.e. the free movement of people across the borders of EU member-states. It's a sad fact but many of those who voted for Brexit in Britain's referendum did so to "keep those bloody foreigners out". The political elites and their cheerleaders in the Establishment press know that this issue has to be resolved - beware the risen people (even if it right-wing populism, ESPECIALLY if its right-wing populism).
The British govt will continue to be involved in some decisions at the heart of the EU - both officially and thru quiet channels.
The newly negotiated arrangements between London and Brussels & Berlin will be put to a vote with the public saturated in a climate of consent. That manufacture of consent is being planned right now, and will like nothing seen before. Even heavy hitters on the Leave side last time will row in, endorsing the "new relationship"; the likes of that buffoon Boris.
The predominance of Brexit in discourse for the last 6 months, right now, and into the short term future presents a opportunity for those seeking to politicise the masses in the pursuit of radical transformative change. There is more likelihood now of discussions about politics, as the powers-that-be run around with their hair on fire.
That opportunity should be recognised and used.
We shall see M. Monnet. We shall see. A large section of the Tory party is eurosceptic. Many educated English people dislike the suavity of French culture and are envious of German technological and economic accomplishment.
Retrospective: "It seemed like a good idea at the time" (It really wasnt. And this argument fundamentally ignored that consequences to working people, immigrants, and young people that brexit has wrought, so here we are".
Told you so.