Location France France

Brexit is burning their fingers

By Daniel Gluckstein

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union could be postponed…to late 2019.
Revealing this news, The Sunday Times (14 August) provided three explanations.
One: Prime Minister Theresa May has committed to respecting Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which provides for two years of negotiations in order to leave the European Union.
Two: But Theresa May will not trigger Article 50 before the end of 2017. The motive: her government cannot find people to recruit who are qualified to conduct the negotiations; what is more, “they say they don’t even know the right questions to ask when they finally begin bargaining with Europe”.
Three: since 2017 will be a general election year in France and Germany, beginning negotiations beforehand could disrupt those timelines.
Let us summarise: On 23 June, the British people took a sovereign decision to leave the European Union, but they must remain prisoners of the treaties and their negotiation procedures, and of the goodwill of the European institutions and the other governments…
Not one significant sector of the British bourgeoisie really wants to start down the path of breaking with the EU. Even in crisis, the European Union remains an instrument of US finance capital’s rule over the world economy. The fact that one sector of the British capitalist class wants to renegotiate this or that aspect of its commitments is one thing, but the British bourgeoisie is not prepared to start down the path of breaking with US finance capital, and with good reason! This is why it is prevaricating. This is why its government is beating about the bush…
Brexit is burning their fingers.
Here we have verification of the comment by the Financial Times the day after the referendum, when it pointed out that it was “Britain’s most class-based vote”, by the working class.
Only the workers, the youth and working-class people have nothing to lose by leaving – quite the opposite!
One way or another, the British working class will rely on its 23 June mandate as it seeks – through its own movement – to impose the demand of leaving that was expressed in that mandate. The rail strikes that are taking place at the height of summer are the first expression of this. Undoubtedly, this issue will be at the heart of the Labour Party Conference and the TUC Congress, due to take place in September.
There is a very real need, the need to constitute a workers’ political force that will consciously take action to help achieve the exit contained in the class-based vote on 23 June.
Is the same issue not on the agenda in France?
After five months of class struggle against the El Khomri reform, the political debate cannot be reduced to knowing who will have the honour of implementing the diktats of the European Union, once elected President.
Two thousand activists of all political tendencies of the labour movement are opening up another perspective: to constitute a political force that will act openly in favour of breaking with the European Union and the Fifth Republic, and in favour of the people’s sovereignty and the election of a sovereign Constituent Assembly.

source: Workers’ Tribune Issue no.51

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