Brexit: stay or leave?


25/03/2016 by socialistfight

Curiously there is no attempt to analyse the effects of Brexit on the class consciousness of the British working class. Will they blame foreigners for taking their jobs, will the far right benefit in the form of a right wing coup in the Tory party and will Ukip benefits in a carnival of reaction? These questions are surely central for serious Marxists but Michael Roberts cent rates solely on economics.

Michael Roberts Blog

The UK’s referendum on European Union membership takes place three months from today.  How Britons vote will have an impact not just on Britain but also on Brussels.  The ‘capital’ of the European Union is under pressure from the terrorist bombings, but Brexit would open up fault-lines in the EU ‘project’ itself.  There could be implications for the survival of the European Union if one of its largest members should opt to leave.  It sets a precedent that could be followed.

“Should I stay, or should I go”.  The Clash

Should the British people vote to leave or stay in the European Union in the referendum in June?  Before anybody answers that question, they ought to consider this.  Whether Britons vote to leave or not is relatively small beer compared to the growing risk of a new world economic slump.  That will have much larger consequences for the British people…

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One thought on “Brexit: stay or leave?

  1. Let me suggest that the fundamental problem is failing to characterize the nature of the EU itself. Like the last world war, the EU is several things at once. The Remain supporters emphasize one aspect: the EU is a weak confederation of states. If this were all it was, Remain would be the right choice. But it is the least significant aspect of the EU.

    The EU is also a military bloc, acting in concert with NATO. Thus it imposes economic sanctions on Russia in pursuit of NATO objectives. The military aspect of the EU makes the Remain position completely unprincipled.

    The EU is a third thing: a capitalist trade bloc. Here, the workers ordinarily have no stake, and abstention would be the correct position. (Workers don’t advise the bourgeoisie on trade policy.)

    Given that the vote hopelessly confounds these three components, an active boycott is the right response. Socialists can’t be railroaded into supporting an imperialist military alliance (or even a capitalist trading bloc). Nor into opposing nascent confederalism.

    [My apologies that this insight is a bit tardy.]


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