The Young Communist League Executive Committee have released the following statement condemning the Labour Party’s Brexit announcement today.
It has now been 3 years since the 2016 Brexit Referendum returned a clear mandate for Britain to exit the European Union. In that time right wing and anti-socialist forces in the establishment parties and in the Labour Party have coalesced in increasingly open attempts to rob the democratic vote and keep the country locked into the European Union.
The central premise of their anti-democratic campaign is the idea that working class people did not know what they were voting for or were otherwise duped. At its core their argument is that Britain’s working class is too stupid to be trusted with questions of national sovereignty or the economy. In their view the question of leaving the EU should never have been posed in the first place and certainly not entrusted to working people.
Today’s statement by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, purportedly made in consultation with major trade unions, entails not just a commitment to a so-called People’s Vote, but to fighting to remain in the EU under present circumstances. The YCL publicly and emphatically condemn this decision.
Fighting to achieve a left-led government, in time including Communists, remains a crucial objective for the working class and a key feature of the Communist Party’s programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism. We need representatives who will stand by the working people of Britain and fight for their living conditions, wages, housing, affordable education and the issues that really matter to them. However, if the Labour Party commits to campaign for a People’s Vote to Remain, such a left-led government will not only be impossible in the next general election but would end up losing its progressive and pro-worker vision.
In the first instance, Labour can expect to suffer electoral defeat if they adopt an anti-democratic, anti-working class, pro-Remain line. The only policy which can unite working class voters is to respect the referendum result and to work to achieve a deal most favourable to working people.
Even if Labour could win in such circumstances, any radical progressive manifesto would be impossible to implement while we remain locked in the EU bosses club. Key pillars of progressive policy – nationalisation of public services, state aid for industry, enhancing worker and trade union rights, departure from NATO and denuclearisation, are all de facto illegal as an EU member state.
The Labour Party’s decision today highlights what we, the communists, have warned of for the past 3 years. Only a strong Communist Party can deliver for our class.
We offer critical support to the Labour Party in the struggle for a left led government as the first tentative step in achieving socialist change. But this will be impossible in the absence of a strong Communist Party and a mass extra parliamentary shift centred on the trade union movement. In the final analysis the Labour Party is a social democratic party which aims to mend capitalism – not to end it. This capitulation to EU membership, big business and the British Establishment illustrates all these points.
We will continue to fight for a left-led government and we will continue to campaign for a full withdrawal from the European Union as well for a broad, democratic alliance of left wing forces. These remain essential precursors to putting Britain on the socialist path with the working class in political power.
We appeal to Britain’s young workers and students to join us in this struggle.
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Young Communist League
9 July 2019