Paddington Aslef branch, organising Great Western Railway drivers, has passed the following motion on Brexit:
Paddington Branch notes that since the UK voted to leave the European Union, none of the promises made by the Leave Campaign have been delivered. Rather than having £350 million a week to spend on the NHS, the economy has shrunk by £60bn and we have a shortage of 51,000 nurses.
The vote to leave has created a boost for the far right and led to a rise in racism and other hate crime in our country, with hate crime offences recorded by the police increasing by 123% since the referendum. It has created insecurity for our members, with GWR and other TOCs now writing to their employees with details about what they must do in order to legally remain and work in the UK once we leave. Many of these people have been living here for decades.
We believe that, whilst the decision by this Union’s Executive Committee to back a leave vote was rooted in opposition to the EU’s neo-liberal, pro-privatisation policies, no campaign for a left-wing Lexit has ever taken off; Brexit is now solely a project of the libertarian right, backed by thugs from the far right. If it goes ahead it will mean a victory for the nationalist right, a licence for further austerity and attacks on migrants. But it can be stopped – if the labour movement stands united in opposition to it and throws itself into the fight.
There is nothing socialist about threatening people with deportation.
There is nothing socialist about trashing the economy and putting jobs at risk.
There is nothing socialist about deregulating environmental standards.
There is nothing socialist about rolling back worker’s rights.
We call for free movement and migrants’ rights to be extended, not curtailed: we oppose ‘Fortress Britain’ and ‘Fortress Europe’. We support the 2018 Labour Conference’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.
Many unions and the most progressive elements of the Labour Party are now backing remain and reform. We call on the ASLEF EC to change its policy on Brexit and join with our brothers and sisters in the GMB, UNISON, TSSA in campaigning for remain and reform.
• the holding of a further public vote on Brexit, including the option to remain, for which we will campaign actively and publicly. • the revocation of Article 50 in order to prevent No Deal and give time for a further public vote.
• the Labour Party campaigning for remain and reform in the EU elections.
Furthermore, we fully support the ‘Love Socialism Hate Brexit’ group of left Labour MPs.