European Union

EU migrants face hostile environment

Hundreds of thousands of EU migrants face losing their access to benefits, healthcare, livelihood, and even their right to remain where they now consider home, as UK “settled status” applications comes to an end on 30 June. The “settled status” process itself it a betrayal of the promises made in the run up to the EU referendum, when migrants were repeatedly assured their status in the UK would be safe in the event of Brexit. Most applications have been approved, but many have been given insecure “pre-settled status”, some have been rejected outright, and unknown numbers have not applied. The...

Scotland and the "second referendum"

The SNP victory – or SNP-Green victory – in the Holyrood election of 6 May 2021 was a mandate for a second referendum on Scottish independence. The fact that the SNP did not get an absolute majority of seats or an absolute majority of the popular vote is irrelevant. The Holyrood voting system is designed to stop one party gaining an absolute majority of seats (and the SNP fell only seat short of that). And no one ever argued that the 1945 Labour government had no mandate because it failed to win 50% of the popular vote. The elections held on 6 May also strengthened Sturgeon’s position in three...

Morning Star applauds UK vaccine nationalism

In the run-up to the EU referendum and throughout the Brexit negotiations that followed, the Morning Star vied with the Telegraph and the Mail to be Britain’s most anti-EU newspaper. Not only did it use many of the same arguments as the right wing press (most shamefully, calling for greater curbs on immigration), it also used the same rhetoric: “Brussels bureaucrats” (of course), and denouncing pro-EU forces as “a ‘fifth column’ in British political, media and business circles”, who would run up the “white flag” in negotiations with the EU (these are all genuine quotes). Happily, this rank...

David Lammy is right!

Tottenham Labour MP and Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy has broken ranks with Keir Starmer’s leadership to call for a delay to Brexit. On BBC Question Time on 12 November, Lammy described the fast approaching chaos and called for an extension to the Brexit transition period beyond 31 December (watch here). Lammy’s arguments could certainly have been clearer, more emphatic and more left-wing, but he deserves major credit for making them. They stand out from the silence on Brexit smothering almost the entire labour movement. I don’t think any other Labour MP, even on the backbenches, has...

Open the borders for Syrian refugees!

For a long time, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been "threatening" to open Turkey’s western borders, and allow the millions of refugees to travel to Europe. Now he is upping the threats and raising the stakes. His aim is not to get better conditions for the refugees. It is to force Europe into greater support of Turkey. Yet, with the renewed attacks on migrants, it is the responsibility of socialists all across Europe to challenge the racist anti-immigration laws being put forward by our governments. In Britain the losses have far outnumbered the victories as Home Secretary Priti...

The future for Labour for a Socialist Europe

Urte March, convenor of Labour for a Socialist Europe and a supporter of the Red Flag group, discussed next steps for the campaign with Martin Thomas. What should Labour for a Socialist Europe do, now that Brexit is almost certain to go through? For Red Flag, opposition to Brexit was never just about ensuring we stay in the EU. It was about using the fight against Brexit to explain how the rise of far-right nationalism is just one of a number of global problems which can never be solved by any one national policy, because they’re part of a deep crisis of the international capitalist system we...

Letter: a devastating critique of the European Union

John Cunningham’s article Central and Eastern Europe 30 Years On (Solidarity 529) was really interesting and thought provoking. John’s describes and analyzes how the European Union’s Single Market and the operation of “free movement” led to the devastation of what were once reasonably advanced and self sufficient economies and societies, with the loss of significant proportions of mainly younger, more economically active parts of their populations, and their subjugation as part of the “core-periphery” model to almost semi colonial and exploited status within the EU. I think this amounts to a...

AEIP declares for re-entry to EU

Another Europe Is Possible held its conference on 14 December, with about 100 present at any one time. AEIP was set up as a left pro-Remain group in the run-up to the 2016 referendum, and Workers’ Liberty supported it then. It organised “Left Blocs”, for example, on the big October 2018 and March, July, and October 2019 anti-Brexit marches. Previously operating as a sort of NGO, AEIP became a membership organisation and held a founding conference in December 2018. AEIP is officially “cross-party”, but the Green Party presence at this second conference seemed smaller than in 2018. AEIP decided...

Central and Eastern Europe 30 years on

Picture: Syrian refugees on the Serb-Hungary border The Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989. For those of us old enough to vaguely remember when it was erected (1961 – I was 11) it was an amazing to see “Ossis” (Easterners) and “Wessis” (Westerners) clambering over the Wall, knocking chunks out of it and dancing in the street. This hideous structure, this monument to everything that was vile about Stalinism and its subjugation of the people of Central and Eastern Europe, disintegrated on our TV screens, although it was well into 1990 before the whole monstrosity was finally demolished...

The EU: remain and transform

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...

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