european union flag European Union flag. Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

We need a broad, progressive campaign against EU membership, based on internationalism and solidarity and in opposition to the British establishment. We cannot leave the anti-EU argument to the racist right

The central institutions of the European Union have imposed draconian austerity on a country already half-broken by years of spiraling debt repayments and economic restructuring.

They have shown utter contempt for the well being and the opinions of the people of Greece. They have simply ignored the fact that just one week ago the Greek people voted overwhelmingly against further austerity. Now they are demanding measures that will effectively sideline the Greek parliament and abolish Greek sovereignty. 

There is much to be said about these events, but a few immediate points need to be made urgently.

First, nothing could have made clearer that the EU is a vehicle for the ruthless imposition of neoliberal policies across the continent.

Secondly, the EU is not just undemocratic, it’s policing of a centralised fiscal policy makes it inherently anti-democratic.

Thirdly, one of the main things that has led to the current humiliation of the Syriza government has been its failure to plan for the possibility of an exit from the EU.

The main representatives of British capitalism will be campaigning for a yes vote in the upcoming EU referendum because they recognize its value in reducing labour costs and encouraging a race to the bottom on social spending amongst other things. 

The Left now has an opportunity and a duty to build a broad, progressive campaign against EU membership, based on internationalism and solidarity. The alternative is to support the British establishment and leave the anti-EU argument to the racist right.

Counterfire’s national meeting on July 12th resolved to campaign for a no vote and to work to help bring together the widest possible forces on the Left, the trade unions and the social movements to build the most effective No campaign possible.