European Union

The EU: remain and transform

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 10:28

Some significant workers’ rights are in EU law, such as the TUPE regulations that protect some of our contract terms when we are transferred between employers.

We want strengthening of these rights and new ones too. We demand Europe-wide rules for safe, healthy workplaces free from discrimination and mistreatment, and a legally enforced shorter working week with no loss of pay.

The economic integration of the EU has produced some “levelling-up” of wages. The gap between Spanish wages, or Polish wages, and German wages, is smaller now than when Spain or Poland joined the EU. But that process is

Labour for a Socialist Europe publishes election leaflet

Published on: Tue, 05/11/2019 - 08:44

Labour for a Socialist Europe has published a big-circulation leaflet for the general election campaign. It will also be producing briefing papers, stickers, posters, and other materials (maybe beanies and scarves?)

You can get large quantities of the leaflet by sending the pdf to a printer to order them, for example to Solopress, who will do next-day delivery. Click here for the pdf

If you want a smaller quantity, order from L4SE, or c/o Simon Hannah at Lambeth Unison office, 020 7926 2858.

To find out how AWL can help you get L4SE materials, email awl

Fight for a socialist Europe

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 11:06


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.

Neither Johnson nor any

Corbyn: oppose Brexit!

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 13:34


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.

The basic Tory-Brexiter aim is to “complete” the “Thatcher revolution”, to cut the UK free of EU pressures for social “levelling-up”, and to reorient

Corbyn is reactionary on Europe

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 10:16

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.

In the 2016 referendum Labour fought Brexit. Now, behind the attempt to avoid alienating either the Remainers or the Brexiters, by fudging and mudging, the Labour leadership are committed Brexiters. They want Brexit, a soft Brexit, yes, but Brexit is Labour’s policy, no less than that of the May government — Brexit, and refusal to commit to a “people’s vote” that would include a Remain

Euro elections: left is still floundering

Published on: Wed, 29/05/2019 - 09:27

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.

The single largest

Labour: lead fight against Brexit!

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 13:18

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.

The relationship to the European Union is Britain’s most important political issue in decades. To approach it in terms of manoeuvring for votes is

Against Farage, for Labour, against Brexit

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 11:43

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.

Further “Love Socialism, Hate Brexit” meetings are planned in Streatham,

A letter to a Lib Dem-voting friend

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 11:22

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.

Many, like you, are wondering whether they can support Labour “this time”. Why not vote

Left needs clearer Euro-message

Published on: Wed, 08/05/2019 - 12:18

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.

The mainstream-social-democratic bloc “Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats” (aka S&D, the European Parliamentary group of the pan-European reformist left Party of European Socialists, of which Labour is a member)

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