The independent London newspaper

Brexit is a great idea on so many levels

07 November, 2019

• AS a socialist, to me Brexit is a great idea on so many levels.

The common agricultural policy (CAP) takes up half the EU budget, and lavishes subsidies into the EU’s biggest landowners, at the expense of millions of the poorest farmers in Africa.

The £30billion-a-year subsidy regime allows the EU to dump thousands of tons of heavily subsidised food into Africa every year. As a result, local producers cannot export their products because they compete with the lower prices made possible by the CAP.

To give but one example, Mozambique loses £100million a year because of restrictions on importing into the EU, coupled with the dumping of cheap exports at its door.

The EU policy of exploitation is, of course, also extended to countries within the organisation itself.

In April 2019, the Romanian ministry of health estimated 43,000 doctors departed the country in the decade after EU accession, and their statistics show that in 2019, 26 per cent of all positions for doctors in Romania are vacant, meaning that the country is paying to train young doctors who then leave.

This is why the EU was so keen on extending its single market, complete with free movement of people, eastwards.

And what about the savage austerity packages the EU imposed on the people of so many member states, such as Greece, in order to bail out the bankers?

The entire Brexit debate across the corporate media has deliberately ignored everything mentioned here.

It has been restricted to:

1. Those that want Brexit because they don’t think the EU is right wing enough (Johnson, Rees Mogg, Farage).

2. Those that want to remain because they think the EU is right wing enough (New Labour, Liberal Democrats, so-called “one nation” Tories, the SNP).

3. Corbynistas (and the Green Party), who blindly accept the words European Union at face value, and believe that the EU stands for people-friendly internation­alism, and that we must cling to it at all costs because the only alternative is the vision of Johnson and Farage.

This has led to an unholy alliance between groups 2 and 3, where the democratic will of 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU has been ignored; via a referendum where parliament passed sovereignty on the issue of Brexit to the people, gave us what they said would be an in/out vote, and made it clear that if we voted leave, freedom of movement would end, and we would also leave the single market and the customs union.

One of the MPs’ excuses for dragging their feet on implementing the referendum result was that “the people didn’t vote to leave without a deal”.

They then forced through taking no-deal off the table, thus ensuring our chances of getting a fair deal from the EU were zero; which is what they wanted all along.

In the absence of a fair deal they then want a second referendum in which the only options on the ballot paper will be a “choice” between remain or a bad deal. They thus hope to engineer the remain vote that they have wanted all along.

And, grotesquely, the likes of Ian Blackford of the SNP, who rejected the result of the Scottish independence vote and the Brexit referendum, and Anna Soubry, who quit as a Tory MP and refused to hold a by-election, stood outside the Supreme Court and celebrated the judgment against the proroguing of parliament as “defenders of democracy and the people”.

In doing this, they then, unbelievably, hand Johnson the role of defender of democracy and the people, saying only he will implement the clean-break Brexit we voted for in 2016.

And, even more unbelievably, his position in this role is further cemented by the likes of Jo Swinson saying she would scrap Brexit without a further referendum.

In doing all of this, the one principle upon which democracy stands or falls, that of losers’ consent, has been lost for ever in this country.

Because of this basic fact, all of those who defend the utterly bankrupt EU project have lost all credibility. And – as a socialist – I find that I am represented by nobody.

Africa, Romania, Greece, 17.4 million pro Brexit votes and all the others are forgotten in all the chaos. And that is the greatest tragedy of all.

Address supplied


Share this story

Post a comment