Jeremy Corbyn’s speech in Peterborough earlier this week offers a united way forward for the labour movement on Britain’s exit from the EU, according to the Communist Party.
CP general secretary Robert Griffiths said that his ‘incisive and important’ remarks should not be forgotten in a ‘mediafog of misreporting and distortion’. While most news coverage concentrated on the Labour Party leader’s comments about a maximum salary cap, the Peterborough speech set out how, in Mr Corbyn’s words, ‘Labour will build a better Britain out of Brexit’.
Ruling out a second EU referendum, Mr Corbyn insisted that the electors last June had sent out a clear message: they want to bring back democratic and economic control to Britain, transfer Britain’s EU budget contribution to the NHS, have an economic and political system that works for the many and not just the few and see their concerns about immigration properly addressed.
‘What a refreshing change from the slanderous pro-EU campaign since the referendum to paint Leave voters as gullible, undereducated, xenophobic racists’, Mr Griffiths told the Communist Party’s political committee on Wednesday evening. He welcomed Mr Corbyn’s acknowledgment that continued membership of the Single European Market would prevent a Labour government from implementing measures to protect and rebuild Britain’s industrial base, promote regional economic development and deny public sector contracts to low paying and tax dodging corporations.
‘The Labour leader was also right to uphold the rights of refugees, overseas students and EU residents while highlighting, too, the vital contribution of migrant workers and immigrants to our economy and society’, Mr Griffiths declared. But the CP leader warned that some of Mr Corbyn’s plans to legislate against the importation of super-exploited labour to undercut wages and conditions in Britain would fall foul of EU law.
‘A series of European Court of Justice rulings make it unlawful for national or regional governments and trade unions to take action to enforce equal terms and conditions for so-called posted workers’, he pointed out. Britain’s Communists urged the Labour leadership to come out ‘openly and unambiguously’ against post-exit membership of the Single European Market, while supporting access to it on negotiated and mutually beneficial terms.
The CP political committee also proposed that what Mr Corbyn called the ‘reasonable management’ of migration after leaving the EU must include equal immigration and settlement rights for non-EU citizens in place of the current pro-European discrimination.