The Communist Party of Britain (CPB), and its newspaper the Morning Star, presented the economic and legal argument for leaving the European Union (EU). Briefly stated, the EU is a constitutionally ‘capitalist’ political entity that ensures, through is regulatory laws, that all Socialist entities such as nationalised industries, free healthcare provision, social housing, and unions, must be either ‘privatised’, ‘prohibited’ or ‘abolished’. Once these Socialistic entities have been ‘privatised’, EU legislation prevents any re-nationalisation, or re-socialisation to occur. With unions weakened to the point of impotency, the EU ensures that predatory capitalism has a free hand throughout Europe. The UK being a member of the EU, the Communist left is of the opinion that the British cannot elect a Socialist government, and even if a Socialist government were elected, it would be prevented from carrying-out any Socialist reforms. For instance, none of the damage inflicted on the UK by the Thatcherite, Blairite regimes, as well as Nick Clegg and David Cameron, could be reversed because such a reversal would be prohibited by EU law. The Communist left argument is that British welfare and its NHS are being ‘privatised’ and its unions marginalised because of EU legislation, and that for this to be reversed the UK needs to leave the EU – the source of the UK’s anti-left political agenda. This situation is compounded by the fact that the EU insists on the free movement of migratory labour that is not regulated or protected by worker’s rights or effective unions. The Communist left has always adhered to a staunch anti-racist (internationalist) position, and has continuously stated that all people are welcome to visit and/or work in the UK, but also acknowledges that workers stripped of all their rights and being ‘forced’ to travel for work is undemocratic and a direct assault upon the working class. Workers being forced to fight one another for ‘scraps’ from the EU capitalist table, ultimately does not benefit the working class. The insistence upon the agency of a mass migratory work-force by the EU to fuel its free market capitalism, adversely effects all the communities concerned. This includes the communities that workers have to leave, and the communities that serve as economic hot-spots that attract workers. Whereas the political rightwing reacts to this situation with xenophobia and racism (which unjustly blames the migrant), the Communist left responds with correct, dialectical assessment of the situation that empowers ALL workers concerned. This is intended to lead the workers into developing solidarity and collectively fighting for workers’ rights.
By way of contrast, the ‘Brexit’ (i.e. ‘Britain out’) campaign, disconnected as it was from the Communist left, possessed no sound and dialectical historical analysis. Although many people supported Brexit for legitimate reasons, it is also true that the lack of a sound ideologically worker-friendly basis, opened the Brexit doors for the racists to barge through. Despite the Communist left providing a correct and sober analysis of the EU being against the interests of the working class, Brexit had no leftist ideology to hold it together. This in part was a situation created by the BBC and other mainstream media outlets, that routinely gave (and continue to give) blanket coverage to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) – a notoriously racist party that draws its key support from the political far-right. UKIP has no discernible policies other than the incoherence of xenophobia and racism. As a result, UKIP (a clear fascist manifestation of capitalism in decline), has been used to obscure the Communist left from the attention of the majority of the British workers, and high-jack the political agenda regarding the EU for the far-right. This demonstrates how the British bourgeoisie would rather support a fascist organisation, than disseminate Communist ideology that empowers the workers. UKIP does not represent or empower the workers, but rather assists in the establishment of further manipulating and misleading the masses. Whereas Brexit should have facilitated a broad range of reasons for leaving the EU, instead the British media kept the county’s attention firmly fixed on the racist message of UKIP and its far-right allies (such as Britain First, the BNP, and the NF, etc). So appallingly bias was the Brexit message that those on the left formed ‘Lexit’, or ‘Left Exit’ of the EU. This situation demonstrates the marginalisation of the left. So excluded is the left by the UK mainstream media that it was compelled to form its own social media-led campaign to try and get its message of non-racist solidarity across to the general public. The Communist left was part of the broad lexit campaign and contributed its Marxist-Leninist ideological foundation. Workers do not need to fight one another or resort to racism to secure good working conditions. All workers need to do is understand that the EU is a class enemy, unite together and through voting, negotiation and the threat of withholding of labour, change the situation for the better. Racism is an ideological tool of the bourgeoisie and the far-right (anti-worker) politics it encourages and supports. The problem with lexit was that it relied on the Trotskyite left for support and this tended to ‘weaken’ the good and clear Marxist-Leninist analysis provided by the Communist Party. Trotskyites, although referring to what they do as ‘leftist’, in fact pursue a thoroughly rightwing agenda that is antagonistic toward Marxist-Leninism, and which seeks to mislead the workers down blind allies that only benefit the ruling elite. Another ‘weakening’ issue surrounding the broad left campaign to leave the EU was that the Parliamentary Labour Party decided to back the ‘stay’ in the EU campaign, as did 90% of the Labour affiliated unions. This demonstrates a terrible error of judgement on the part of the Labour Party, which put capitalist, cooperate interests above those of the workers it claims to represent.
On the face of it, the left campaign to leave the EU was a disconnected and contradictory effort from start to finish. By contrast, the Brexit campaign more or less focused on British xenophobia toward migratory workers –and nothing else, whilst the ‘stay’ campaign focused entirely upon greed, fake internationalism, and the maintenance of class privilege. Despite all of this disorganisation and chaos on the left, however, it does seem that the British working class decided for themselves and delivered a truly ‘crushing’ blow to the capitalist establishment that is still wheeling from its effects. It seems that Labour MP Peter Shore’s message from 1975 finally sank-in!