Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 49 Number 11, June 4, 2019 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

EU Elections 2019

EU Elections and the Divisions in the Polity

The elections for MEPs to the European Parliament took place in Britain on May 23. They were billed as the elections no one wanted, since it is envisaged that elected MEPs will not take their seats before the revised deadline for Brexit, October 31. The main Westminster parties hardly have a coherent position as parties, and the Brexit Party itself was initially registered as a limited company, not a party with members.

At the same time, contradictions within the EU are sharpening, notably between France and Germany, who dominate the European project. They are increasingly at loggerheads, and internally increasingly in turmoil.

Thus the question cannot really be posed in terms of whether it is beneficial to Remain in or Leave the European Union, taking account of the nature of this "European project". The argument that Leave is the only option because of the neo-liberal nature of the EU and its concentration of power does not hold, because the working class and people of Britain cannot simply escape the neo-liberal agenda in this way. Similarly the argument to Remain on the basis that the EU will guarantee rights or is internationalist has the flaw that the EU is beset with these contradictions, and the vision of a "social Europe" which consistently favours the people and their rights continues to recede.

The point is that the people must oppose and fight against the injustices they face in their daily lives which are part and parcel of the so-called liberal democracy that characterises the political system that exists and is in such crisis here in Britain as well as in the European Union, without illusions or preconceptions. They must argue out their positions and see whether the conditions exist for what they aspire to. And they must cognise what is required to bring out the conditions for their rights and set this as their agenda. In other words, the people must resist the temptation to make Remainers or Leavers into things rather than human beings with their own rights and interests.

The issue at the core of considerations for the people is that Brexit or no Brexit, there is still the question of where political power lies. Whatever the relation between Britain and the EU, or Britain and the US, or the working class and peoples of this country and of Europe, or the state relationships within the "United Kingdom", there remains the requirement for the peoples to be empowered to control and make the decisions concerning their own political affairs, on which all else depends. Thus it can be affirmed that Brexit or no-Brexit is not a policy decision on which the polity must be split, siding with one or the other as though everything else depended on this policy decision. To view things in this way is to reduce the people to spectators, cheer-leaders or complainers.

For a Solution in which People Speak in their Own Name!


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