The Socialist Case for Remaining in the EU

Idioma de EuropaflagsThe SSP rejects a ‘BOSSES EU’ and remains committed to a democratic socialist Europe.By Colin Fox, SSP National co-spokesperson.

The Scottish Socialist Party concluded three months of deliberations on the EU Referendum last weekend when our National Council recommended we vote to ‘Remain’ and restated our commitment to a democratic, socialist Europe. We weighed up both referendum options before concluding the choice was not for or against the anti-democratic bosses club in Brussels, but rather how best to advance the interests of working people across Europe.

Remaining within the EU and working with others of like mind in 28 nations to reform it is, we concluded, the lesser of two evils. We see the EU as an anti-democratic bosses club manipulated by corporate Europe working to a brutal neo-liberal agenda.
Anti-democratic? Yes, certainly. The EU is not accountable to the people of Europe and never has been. The elected Parliament is powerless. The real power lies with unelected Commissioners appointed by national Governments. Europe’s corporations manipulate and control the politicians. The economic and political power rests in the boardrooms of Europe; with BP, Shell, Siemens, Volkswagen, Peugoet, Deutsche Bank, Fiat, BAe, the City of London and the European Central Bank as well as other multinational corporations like them.

Their neo-liberal actions crush working people everywhere. They insist on the privatisation of our public assets, the casualization of millions of jobs, low corporate taxes for them, ‘free trade’ protectionism, the ‘financialisation’ of entire economies, secret TTIP negotiations, the list of dishonour goes on and on.

Why not leave the EU then, it is asked, if it is a ‘bosses club’? A good question.

The answer unfortunately is because this ‘abandonment’ would not improve the situation. A ‘leave vote’ would be a victory for UKIP and the Tory right not working people. It is they after all who have pressed for this referendum. The choice is not between a corporate EU and an anti-capitalist or progressive UK. It is between ‘EU PLC’ and ‘UK PLC’. And working people should have no faith in either of them.
But a ‘Leave’ victory would unleash a ‘carnival of reaction’. It would be a victory for the bigots and isolationist ‘Little Englanders’. UKIP and the Tory right would move to scrap what little legal protection working people have left. They would uncouple the UK from European Court of Human Rights legislation they don’t like on equality and employment protection etc.

Internationalism and solidarity are important values and they are in such short supply at the moment we need to protect them avidly. There is a common challenge here facing 500 million workers across Europe. The ominous prospect of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] jeopardises the very concept of public services and public ownership. And the NHS is among its many targets. We need to join together across Europe to stop TTIP. And we need to change the EU too, to democratise it and socialise it.

Newsweek European issue Nigel Farage cover 17 October 2014No one is claiming that is an easy option, far from it. There are powerful vested interests determined to stop that change. The balance of forces across Europe today does not favour the left its true. But it is a struggle that has to be engaged nonetheless.

Those who say the EU cannot be changed should recognise it has been evolving and changing ever since it was founded in 1947. If it can be changed by the bosses and the right via treaties like Maastricht and Lisbon then it must be altered by the left too to insist on changes advantageous to the working class majority across 28 countries.

Those who favour a ‘Leave’ vote insist the EU is driving privatisation across Britain. But that agenda was started here in the 1980’s by Thatcher and extended by Blair and Brown. EU Directives are often used by Tory and Labour Governments as excuses to cover their own neo-liberal bias. The SNP do the same when it suits them as they did with the Scotrail franchise and Scottish Water’s non-domestic supply. But these EU ‘Directives’ also include ‘opt-outs’ Governments can exercise on social or environmental grounds. So in France EDF remains the state owned Energy Company. In Holland Abellio [owners of Scotrail] are also in state hands. Postal services throughout Europe remain publicly owned. In Germany dozens of energy companies supplying gas and electricity to cities across the Republic are also public. Jack McConnell used them too to halt the sell-off of CalMac Ferries in 2006. The threat of privatisation is as strong at Westminster as anywhere else. The opt outs used far less frequently in Britain. That tells us a great deal about the privatisation agenda across Europe.

Podemos-European-Parliament‘How can we vote to leave the UK as we did in 2014 and then vote to remain in the EU?’ it is asked. The answer of course it that these are two entirely different issues. The EU is not a state. There are sovereign 28 nations within it. It is a trading block. Yes each state is subject to the same neo-liberal pressures but the 2016 question is should Britain remain part of a trading block or not. The overwhelming majority of laws affecting us in Britain are passed at Westminster not Brussels as UKIP would have us believe. Extending democracy means transforming the EU along the lines the SSP envisages not walking away.

The implications of the EU vote for Scottish Independence has also inevitably been raised. Alex Salmond for example, claims a second referendum on Independence will be ‘unstoppable’ if the UK votes to leave and Scots vote to stay.

I’m not so sure. The UK Parliament is hardly likely to grant us another referendum on independence after UKIP and the Tory right have just won such a far reaching victory is it? And Alex Salmond needs to remind people that Westminster holds the power to call ‘Indyref2’. And that is an even more remote prospect if the SNP ‘chicken out’ from seeking a mandate for it in May.

Few Yes supporters believe the ‘democratic deficit’ exposed over EU membership is the issue to win us ‘Indyref2’. The case for independence will be won or lost on economic grounds. As indeed it was lost in 2014.

As far as the EU referendum is concerned the SSP will recommend a vote to remain. But that ‘directive’ as it were stands alongside our unequivocal opposition to the anti-democratic neo-liberal EU in Brussels. The Europe we believe in is democratic, socialist, advocates peace in the world and not warmongering and sees 500million European citizens sharing the riches of the continent equally.

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  1. John Fullerton says:

    A socialist who seeks to reform capitalism isn’t a socialist.

  2. Celia Fitzgerald says:

    Big difference between being pro-Europe and being pro EU. The EU is a tiny unelected right wing capitalist cabal promoting the interests of the equally tiny ruling elite & super rich of the world. No genuine Socialist can support that.

  3. johnny says:

    Don’t know if he has noticed but you can’t have democracy in a corporatist super state that signs secret trade deals, implements mass surveillance and arms the police like an army. It is not possible to reform a state where the oligarchs own the media, write the laws to suit themselves and own the money supply.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      Mr Fox points out that the EU is not a state but a trading block of 28 countries.

      1. johnny says:

        Mr Fox can call it what he likes. The fact is we live in a global, neo liberal, police and military state where the oligarchs rule and you bail them out when it goes tits up.

        When secret trade deals trump local law its really a kind of anarchy/libertarianism for the rich.

    2. Redgauntlet says:

      The reason that Farage and co want out is so the UK can undercut the EU by signing individual trade deals with India, Brazil, China, the US and other big trading partners.

      You think if the UK votes to leave that will save us from TTIP? Think again…it will be even worse probably…

      …the fight is between the 90% of people against the 10% representing international capital. The EU is an irrelevance, though if the Uk votes to leave, a) it will cause chaos, and b) it will be interesting to see who South England blames for its woes in an EU free UK, because it always has to blame somebody.

      As Torreblanca wrote in El Pais the other day, it’s funny how the Brits who live abroad are described by the press as “ex-pats” while the Poles and the Romanians are described as “immigrants”….maybe if we started talking about British immigrants in Europe and Polish and Spanish “ex-pats” perceptions might change…

      …this is all about the English superiority complex, and the SNP and Colin Fox should be making as much political capital from this farcical negotiation Cameron is leading – an embarrassment, an international embarrassment -but without sanctioning the EU and some of their ridiculous policies and institutions…

      …this is English nationalism off the leash and frothing at the mouth…

  4. Redgauntlet says:

    How can Colin Fox describe this piece as a “Socialist Case” for staying in the EU? What? The general principle of solidarity? But working class European solidarity existed long before the EU did, and was far more effective than the EU has ever been in securing rights for most working people, eg, the trade union movement.

    The EU was founded with the principle of solidarity as one of its cornerstones. That principle has been fundamentally violated during the Euro crisis. Just as the principle of equality of the 28 EU countries has been.

    That is a fact, not an opinion. Germany now calls the shots…at least two leaders have been undemocratically ejected from office: Berlusconi in Italy and Papandreou in Greece when he suggested calling a referendum on the bail-out package. Angela Merkel has rewritten the Spanish Constitution, which had never been touched since it was voted for in 1978. It is a democratic outrage.

    I am not in favour of leaving, but I refuse to sanction the EU as it currently stands. I just wouldn’t take part in this ludicrous, knee-jerk referendum which Cameron has called. I am not voting for neo-liberal austerity, which is the current EU economic doctrine. It stinks, and I am surprised Colin Fox thinks it will make an iota of difference to the people he represents whether the UK stays or leaves…either way it is austerity, austerity, austerity…

    Do we need a European union? Yes. But it must be from the bottom up, not the top down, which is what we have…

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Sanctioning the EU as it currently stands should not be the alternative to Brexit. The Democratise Europe Movement is promoting as alternative agenda: https://diem25.org/

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Agreed, Graeme.

        My point is that Colin’s piece is not a “socialist case for staying in the EU”, and that’s no surprise, because there isn’t such a thing….

        …you need a grassroots, pan European, Left/Green/Feminist/ Anti-War movement to bring about change from the bottom up in order to transform the EU.

  5. Darby O'Gill says:

    I don’t believe that Colin Fox thinks for one moment that the outcome of the upcoming referendum would make any immediate improvement to the lives of ordinary people. As he states, a vote to stay in is the lesser of two evils.
    “Remaining within the EU and working with others of like mind in 28 nations to reform it is, we concluded, the lesser of two evils. We see the EU as an anti-democratic bosses club manipulated by corporate Europe working to a brutal neo-liberal agenda.”

  6. Redgauntlet says:

    I mean, do people realize just how much of an ASSHOLE Cameron is making of himself?

    He is trying to get 28 countries to amend a Treaty which, in some cases, was voted through by national referenda and, in every case, by national parliaments. Now, he comes along and says, like the Bullingdon twat he is, that he wants to change bits of it….

    How can Cameron and the Tories have the cheek to even contemplate it? If you want to have a referendum, on yersel, but how can you ask 27 countries to amend a Treaty they are all happy with, and with no guaranteed result even if they agree to Cameron’s list of demands?

    I am embarrassed to be the holder of a UK passport these days in Europe, and am seriously considering applying for Irish nationality which I think I would be eligible for…

    1. greatbighoo says:

      “I am embarrassed to be the holder of a UK passport these days in Europe, and am seriously considering applying for Irish nationality which I think I would be eligible for…”

      Fine – Fuck Off then, to Ireland.

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

    2. Valerie says:

      Well said, Cameron does look like a giant arse in all this charade. Every night the MSM lackeys proclaim -massive strides, huge concessions,fantastic deal for UK.

      A quick hop over to RT, and we have statements from any number of countries, saying no deal.

      It’s entertainment for the masses – our PM is over there giving them what for, old chap.

      Sadly, it’s how it is.

  7. Delparks says:

    The problem here is we frequently lapse into arguments of the form “I don’t like a decision/policy the EU has put in place therefore we should leave the EU” rather than simply weighing up the two options (leaving or staying) and judging them accordingly.

    Take the Eurozone crisis as an example. Whatever anyone thinks of it, we’re not in the Eurozone. It doesn’t actually enter the equation as to whether the UK/Scotland should stay in. Greece doesn’t receive better treatment the minute we leave – in fact if we want to argue for better treatment for Greece surely our ability to do so can only be damaged by leaving. The real opposition to it is building through Syriza (already in government), Podemos (was close to government in Spain), Bloco de Esquerda (has a deal with the government in Portugal), Varoufakis’ new movement, etc. These are movements within the EU, not outside of it.

    TTIP is another example. The agreement hasn’t actually been negotiated yet (in fact it’s likely to take many more years to achieve). It’s also something that would affect us whether we’re party to the agreement or not because we’d have both the United States and Europe (the two regions of the world which are, by far, the most important to us) implementing whatever is decided, with all the spillover that would entail for us. Yet trade agreements require unanimity among EU member states so if we’re concerned about TTIP then leaving is essentially tossing out our very sizeable influence over the content of the agreement (an absolute veto) in favour of virtually no influence over the agreement. Again, the argument isn’t about whether you like TTIP, but about which strategy (leave or remain) gives you the best option of dealing with it.

    And that’s why in my opinion it makes very little sense, as a socialist, to advocate leaving. If you want a socialist Europe then you have to argue for it within the political framework that exists in Europe. That’s the only way it will be achieved. There’s no point retreating, giving a free pass to the capitalist interests you oppose, and mounting some limp opposition to it from outside.

    1. Redgauntlet says:

      Fair enough Delparks, but you could equally argue that the EU, as it exists, is actually a barrier to progressive change in Europe. First of all, it fosters an illusion of unity which doesn’t exist, or better said, exists only for the European bourgeoisie and for capital.

      The only reason free movement of people exists is because people are LABOUR. If you have free movement of capital, it follows that, from capital’s point of view, free movement of labour is required.

      Where are the pan European structures at the societal level which would be essential if anybody was really serious about a union of European people? The Parliament is a convenient sideshow for idiots like Farage, it has no real powers. National governments decide everything.

      None of the fundamental rights of European citizens are guaranteed QUO European rights…they are established as NATIONAL RIGHTS. .EU citizens in the UK won’t get a vote at the EU referendum…where is the union exactly?

      We are talking about a glorified, trumped up get-together of nationally elected leaders and their bureaucrats who make some pan European policy, almost always related to free trade. As soon as you get a humanitarian crisis like Syria, like austerity in the south of Europe, and you see that there is no “union” and the principle of solidarity, which I believe did once exist with the founding fathers, has long since been abandoned.

      The EU referendum question should read: are the interests of British capital served better in the EU or out of the EU? Because that is what has led us to this absurd situation, whereby by a pint swilling loudmouth non-entity like Farage gets to set the agenda for a British government and embarrass us all beyond our own shores…

      1. Brian Boulton says:

        I agree with the idea that we don’t have genuine unity across Europe and that much of it is an illusion. But ultimately the solution is a cross-European movement of the left and I think the EU is a far greater enabler of that kind of movement than an obstacle to it. This is what Varoufakis is trying to build at present. The gains that have been made just in the last few years are pretty remarkable if you look back to where we were a decade ago. Nobody would have expected the situation we have now in Greece, Portugal and Spain. Even Corbyn’s victory in the leadership contest is a sign of what’s possible.

        And just as the European Parliament seems to have inadvertently given people like Farage a leg up, it can do the same for the left. Podemos in fact first came to prominence in the 2014 European elections. I personally think come 2019 there’s a very real chance we’ll see the left running European wide campaigns under the kind of banner DiEM25 has set up, potentially with Varoufakis as a Commission President candidate. I don’t see any parallel way in which a pan-European movement of the left could get that kind of exposure outside of the EU. The old political order in Europe is already crumbling in many countries (the centre-left in particular) and there’s a clear space for genuine left-wing parties to fill.

        The problems with EU policies aren’t so much about the EU itself, but about the nature of European governments. If you put 28 politicians in a room together and all of the major players are either on the centre-right (Merkel, Rajoy, Cameron, etc.) or third way faux-socialists (Hollande, Renzi) it’s not much surprise that they’re going to come up with centre-right policies. It’s not the EU making national politics more right-wing, it’s national governments making the EU right-wing. The beauty of what Varoufakis is trying to do is that all of these parties have a national basis for power. The left might only have 10-20% in any given country, but if you construct a genuine Europe-wide movement of the left it would hold all the cards.

  8. Alister Rutherford says:

    While I am in agreement with Colin that we should vote to remain in the EU, I must take issue with his description of the EU as an undemocratic bosses club. It is no such thing. Colin states that “The real power lies with unelected Commissioners appointed by national Governments.” Firstly this is untrue, the Commission has no powers of decision making. Secondly Colin makes no attempt to square why national governments would want give away their powers to another body. It makes no sense. Colin simply ignores the fact that the key source of decision making within the EU lies with the national governments of the 28 member states. Meeting either as the Council of Ministers or as the European Council, it is the representatives of the 28 governments who take the key decisions. Furthermore all of these national governments were democratically elected.

    The European Parliament also has a vote on just about all the key decisions. Though it may be limited in many ways, it is still an important and powerful source of decision making. It is also of course democratically elected.

    The role of the Commission is to prepare legislation – directives, regulations etc – but the Commission has no power over whether these directives get implemented. This power is share by the national governments and the European Parliament.

    What most seems to annoy people on the left about the EU is that the voters across the EU have consistently chosen to vote for right wing neoliberal, pro-austerity parties. It might be more fruitful, if more difficult, if people on the left, and especially those on the progressive, radical left, spent a bit more time analysing why we have failed so spectacularly in convincing a majority of our fellow citizens across the EU to vote for us. Blaming the EU as undemocratic is just cop out.

    1. Redgauntlet says:

      The EU has a democratic deficit to the extent that there is nobody representing the European General Will… you say that national governments call the shots ultimately in the EU, which is true, that these are democratically elected governments – well, that is a lot more dubious due to unfair electoral systems in the UK and Spain to take but two examples – but people are not thinking much about Europe, and certainly not about pan European policy, when they vote at national general elections….

      …if you accept the need for the EU,then you accept the existence of a common European interest. Who represents that? Nobody is the answer….which is why, in 2016, there is still not a common immigration policy, or a common defence policy, much less a European army….the EU is one of the most militarized continents in the world after China if I remember…27 national standing armies in a tiny wee space!!!

      You need to invest far more powers in the European Parliament if you want a genuinely democratic EU, and you need a European Bill of Rights which give all Europeans the same basic rights to SS, housing, unemployment benefit, and voting rights at national elections…a universal package of European rights…

      The EU project either radically reforms and democratizes itself or I think it will unravel…

    2. Redgauntlet says:

      By the way, Alister, the EU’s reputation for being undemocratic spread its wings and began to fly when they insisted on repeating referenda in countries which has rejected the European Constitution…..that was the turning point…they completely bungled it….the EU elites, the political elites of national government, tried to impose an unreadable Constitution on the people of Europe with no proper consultation process, no information, no grassroots level of engagement…

      …they didn’t even draft a legible document, but they are famous, the EU brigade, for being insensitive….they have a painting of the Rape of Europe by Rubens on the wall of the Commission – or the Parliament, I can’t recall which….they name basically high paid functionaries Commissars, with all of the connotations that holds for Europeans from the former Soviet Union and its satellite States….

      ….as for the Eurozone, nobody in the south of Europe even bothers pretending it is democratic any longer….Spain has a 3% to GDP deficit written into its Constitution….and then they wonder why nobody likes them, huh? A bunch of bunglers…

  9. Blair paterson says:

    I am 77 years old and I voted against joining the common market as it was called then I also voted against it. The next time as well and I will certainly be voting to leave it this time it is business mans paradise never in their wildest dreams did they think to be able to bring in,cheap labour from all over Europe and so be able to keep our wages down . If those who employ them were to be made to pay for the medical treatment housing etc we would see how cheap they would be then ? No we whose wages’they have kept down have to foot the bill for that plus suffer hospital delays etc while the business men go private waken up get out

    1. greatbighoo says:

      “I am 77 years old”

      I see.

      “it is business mans paradise never in their wildest dreams did they think to be able to bring in,cheap labour from all over Europe and so be able to keep our wages down”

      But … but … but … Scotland is a Socialist Internationalist Utopia, open borders, migrants welcome, bairns not bombs, etc.

      “If those who employ them were to be made to pay for the medical treatment housing etc we would see how cheap they would be then ?”

      HERESY! BURN THE WITCH!!!

      My Dad is 67 years old, and has a similar position to you.

      He voted ‘Yes’, because he ‘doesn’t trust Westminster Politicians’ (but oddly, does trust SNP politicians, and bizarrely did trust Salmond, and does trust ‘Nicola’ etc.)

      So much for the Socialist Internationalist Utopia.

  10. greatbighoo says:

    Colin,

    Please name one example of a Socialist state that has successfully provided a sustained quality of life and standard of living that is comparable or superior to that provided on a sustained basis by states operating a form of state-regulated Capitalism.

    Thanks.

  11. Mark Crawford says:

    The SSP’s stance on this referendum certainly means the party has confirmed that it is no place for the revolutionary left. If you believe that, after ensuring anti-capitalist parties somehow manage to come to power across the different election cycles of 28 countries, you can somehow then converge towards an anti-capitalist EU, you must have an iron-clad belief in the power of reformist (and not revolutionary) democratic struggle.

    If you want to use political struggle to end capitalism, you have to look at how capitalism used political struggle to end feudalism. It did so through an event we now call the French Revolution, which spread enthusiasm for change across the continent (see how the philosopher Kant wrote of his “enthusiasm bordering on wishful participation” after the events of 1789). Revolutions, in other words, overcome the problem of trying to achieve continental change against the grain of different election cycles which only ever lead to the discrediting isolation of radical governments (see Syriza in Greece, for instance).

    There’s a counter-argument that would perhaps be proposed by supporters of Yanis Varoufakis’ new DiEM25 movement which says: the enthusiasm needed to overcome international isolation during different election cycles can be achieved by postmodern information networks rather than modernist revolutions. Maybe – we shall have to see what happens on that front. I’m open to the possibility DiEM25 might be right about that.

    But, in fact, when you look at DiEM25’s vision for Europe as a federation of sovereign parliaments, a problem for Scotland’s position emerges. Because let us imagine that DiEM25 manage to “democratise the EU” (as is their stated aim), on what basis can they recognise Westminster as a democratic sovereign parliament, given all the problems and contradictions of post-indyref devolution that we are all so familiar with? On that basis, even a (pro-indy) supporter of DiEM25 in Scotland should vote for Brexit on the basis that Scotland first has to get its own sovereign parliament in place before considering joining a federation of European nations.

    Therefore, I’ll be voting No to the EU. But Yes to Scotland’s ongoing and deepening democratic revolution.

  12. Jim Monaghan says:

    Colin Fox is wrong to say that leaving the EU would uncouple us from the ECHR. ECHR is a body of the Council of Europe, not the EU.

  13. Andrew MacDonald says:

    “The Europe we believe in is democratic, socialist, advocates peace in the world and not warmongering and sees 500million European citizens sharing the riches of the continent equally.”

    And our bed-time reading is Mills and Boon. As long as sovereignty lies in the hands of Brussels and power with the un-elected commissioners there is no mechanism for reform. It is the avowed intention of the EU to destroy the nation state.

  14. willie says:

    The EU is a mixture of good and bad. It is trading block trying to operate as a quasi state. How it develops and the policies it pursues is a combination of the complexions of the governments that make up the EU. Elect fascist Governments in the EU member states and you have a fascist EU. Ditto a socialist EU were the member states to elect socialist Governments. The point therefore is not the binary EU good or bad, but rather that there is much work to be done securing national Governments that reflect the wishes of their electorate. That is why I saw independence for Scotland as being so important. Freed from a neo conservative Westminster, Scotland would I believe be very much a left of centre country participating as a full member in the EU. And Scotland would not be alone in that position. Someone once said rather crudely that you have to pee with the cock you’ve got. But it’s true and we need to start using it nationally and supra nationally. Decoupling from a right wing UK whilst engaging with Europe is the way forward and I for one will be voting Yes to stay in Europe. And SNP One and Two come May because the SNP for all of it’s faults is by far and away the biggest and best cock we’ve got to move forward!

  15. Jim Monaghan says:

    Also, the power does not lie with the commissioners, the power in the EU is with the Council of Ministers, the 28 leaders of the member states, the commissioners cannot even pass legislation, they can only prepare and advise legislation, parliament has full power over the introduction of legislation. This really is an awful position for the SSP to hold. It looks like the 3 months they spoent “deliberating” was all based on misinformation.

    1. Ronnie Morrison says:

      The comments here are much more rational and informative than the article. Scotland independent cannot join the EU overnight – it is a process which would take a time – irrespective of whether the UK votes to stay or go.
      Seems to me that in the interim a sovereign Scotland would have the opportunity to demonstrate the theoretical ideal Nation State which might, just might, point the way how a democracy should work. Thereafter we have the option of joining at which time we can judge whether or not it would be a good idea. Chickens and eggs come to mind

  16. Blair paterson says:

    Greatbighoo I am at a loss to understand your reply to my post could you please reply in plain English I freely admit I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer and the failure to understand is mine but I am left wondering if,you were for or against my post ? By the way I live in England

  17. Raphie de Santos says:

    The EU and Euro and ECB cannot be reformed as I wrote five years ago.

    http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article2156

  18. Bill Steele says:

    “… Westminster holds the power to call ‘Indyref2’.” Is it not the case that the people of Scotland, and not the Westminster Parliament, for all its claims to absolute sovereignty, are sovereign in Scotland? While the Claim of right of 1989 has no legal force, does it not enshrine the principle on Scottish Constitutional Law that the people of Scotland are Sovereign in Scotland, and that Governments have a contractual relationship with the Sovereign People? Is it not the case that should the Sovereign people of Scotland decide to hold a referendum on the independence of our Nation and Country, then the Westminster Government, under contract to the Sovereign people of Scotland, has no option but to obey the people?

    1. Andrew MacDonald says:

      The SNP propaganda regarding the EU referendum is disengenuous, insincere and constitutionally, a barefaced betrayal of their very reason for being. To say, on the nafarious assumption of fickle opinion polls, that a bigger “In” vote in Scotland weighed against an “out” result in England would in some way justify triggering another referendum is frankly ridiculous. The UK’s membership of Europe is a wholly different thing than Scotland’s potential membership as an Independent nation.
      No political party has a mandate to dictate what the Scottish people might decide to be a part of. With a potential loss of a large part of our sovereignty at stake the SNP must be honest with their membership and the wider electorate and come clean about the capitalist club that is the undemocratic European Union.
      David Cameron’s so called “concessions” are window dressing, nothing more.
      For as long as the SNP support the contradiction in terms of “Independence in Europe” they are selling a false prospectus. At best they are a party of devolution. Well wide of the mark of anything akin to National Freedom
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  19. David Allan says:

    I suspect that if other EU Block Countries had their own in/out referenda there may well be a few surprises . The UK has never fully embraced the EU being a reluctant partner at the best of times.

    The EU benefits one Nation only , for the Euro read Deutschmark , trying to change what has evolved from within is like asking a squaddie to influence the operation of the officers mess.

    I will be voting to exit as a means of gaining control over our own destiny (sound familiar) only then can we influence a reversal of the unrelenting austerity that attacks so many of the services we have grown to expect our government’s to provide .

    Norway has trade deals with Europe and trade unionists there have no wish to join a block that has presided over the biggest attack on workers rights for generations . Greece and it’s population are suffering the consequences of it’s EU membership fellow members failing to curb it’s excesses when it was still possible to do so . The fear of what Greece is experiencing keeps other’s silent to the real issues of EURO membership. Being dependent on Germany to ensure the currency’s future stability.

    Lets get control of what ideology influences future events in the UK and show Europeans what is possible.

    I support the position and arguments of “Trade Unionists against the EU” . I am disappointed that the SSP have taken their decision and believe that many of their members will choose to ignore party advice. And what of the position of RISE?

    As for the SNP if Scotland votes In and UK votes out ” could trigger a Indyref2 ” come on Nicola would such an outcome trigger a second ref YES or NO.

    Why the hesitation? Would such a ref2 occur during the term of the next Scottish Parliament.

    Could a Brexit not lead to extra devolved powers e.g. over Agriculture and Fisheries.

    As an Indy supporter I am frustrated by the reluctance of the SNP to make a firm stance on the matter. Or has Devolution become the new end game for the party leadership.

  20. old battle says:

    A substantial (though declining) force of the Left -the Morning Star supporting left, active in the TU movement, left-Labour and in the CP are objectively lying in bed with right-wing reaction in supporting Brexit.
    This is deja-vue ‘all over again’ having seen the ‘red comrades’ joining with UKIP the Tory Party & the Orange Order in urging the working-class in Scotland to vote against Scottish Independence .
    Once upon a time CP supporting comrades would have sung the Internationale and meant it with its appeal for working-clas solidarity across borders. Yet now we read in MS editorials that working-people should place their vote in the same box as Farage & right-wing Toryism. Shame!
    Even the Greek gov suffering under the yoke of bad EU policy will remain within the EU while seeking to struggle against the worst aspects of EU policy.
    To run-away from European-wide struggle while preferring the isolationist Tory ruled UK Gov does not characterize any aspect of Marxism or progressive politics.

  21. David Allan says:

    old battle – So aligning yourself with the Cameron Right Wing Tory option is acceptable in any circumstance.

    We can campaign “to run away” from the UK to help shape a better fairer Scotland during the Independence Campaign (as I did) yet it is wrong “to run away” from the EU when motivated by the same outcome.

    1. Arwyn Thomas says:

      The crux of Colin’s case is that the EU can be reformed from a bosses-bankers club into something progressive. I can’t believe he really believes that himself.

    2. Arwyn Thomas says:

      It seems Colin has picked up a nasty bug from the Labour right wing i.e perverting the language of socialism for reactionary ends. I first noticed this during the scottish referendum and used most famously by Hilary Benn in his notorious pro war speech. Using “Internationalism” “Solidarity” in support of the EU! so are the Blairites

  22. Chris Smith says:

    Any Socialist who argues to remain in the EU must give examples of current legislations that provide even the smallest crumb of hope for reform in the future.

    Unforunately, the UK can just choose to ignore or amend such legislations to the detriment of the working class.

    Personally, I do not think IndyRef2 and the EU Referendum are as interlinked as most suggest and shouldn’t be used, on it’s own, as a reason to remain.

    I fear a repeat of the ridiculous and fierce fear tactics that we saw Better Together used in IndyRef.

    How long before we hear the ‘Bananas are too straight’ argument to leave? Or we must use the metric system for driving to remain?

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