The EU is not all bad. It has produced welcome legislation in some areas including on environmental issues that have served us well. However a few good acts and laws here and there doesn’t cover up the very real left wing argument to exit the EU (also known as Lexit). Below are 14 reasons to vote for Lexit, some of them may well surprise you. (If you’re not voting Lexit, don’t worry, it will still give you an insight into our way of thinking)
1. The EU can not be reformed
The direction of the EU is written. To even have a chance at reform it would require not just the backing of all member states but a rewrite of the constitition and all the principals and aims of the EU.
This would take decades to complete not least because the financial, fiscal and political Union is linked by various treaties and documents that are closely interlinked.
The remain side often argue that there is ‘no plan’ after an exit, that the financial issues will be too great to overcome. What is the plan to reform the EU? Does anyone know how the EU will be reformed? How will that process work? If no one has a plan, if no one can point to a document that says “this is how we reform Europe” then quite simply there is ‘no plan’ to reform the EU. Tariq Ali discusses this point in his speech in the video at the very end of this article (fast forward to 6:10).
Tariq Ali asked Varoufakis if his movement DiEM25 had a constitution or people in place to bring about the reform needed, the reply was ‘no’. (7:15 in the same video at the end of the article).
Perhaps the one most outstanding piece of evidence that the EU can not be reformed is the ‘5 Presidents Report’. A recent report published by the European Union. The following picture explains why this means we will not be reforming the EU. How can you even think about reforming the EU if you have opted for no further integration? Even if we did opt for further integration the 5 Presidents reporf shows that there is a plan in motion and it doesn’t involve reform. It’s simply not going to happen.
Read the 5 Presidents Report here
To the notion that it can be changed from within it is as nonsensical as the this..
2. A vote for remain is a vote for big business, corporations and the banking industry
The left have spent a good decade and more vociferously challenging the 1%, the elite, the big banking and corporate industries be it Google, Starbucks, Coca Cola, Nestlé, Apple or McDonald’s. We would wish to curtail any possible route to expanding their reach, we desire the end to profit for profits sake. It is inconceivable that an exit wouldn’t make a strike against big business.
There will be some who say that in turn it would stifle the economy. You can’t have it both ways and most on the left would easily argue that it’s important we don’t give big business and banks the room they need to expand their tentacles any further.
A vote in the banks favour is a vote in favour of austerity.
3. Lexit doesn’t have to be the end of Europe
It seems to be that most people think it’s a choice between the EU or nothing. What is stopping the left from building a new European future from the outside built on the vision of socialist parties. They could form a constitution and policy in absence of power and then put it to the people of Europe and then let Europeans decide by voting out the centrist and right leaning parties, voting in socialist governments and then all withdrawing from the current European Union to form a new Europe.
In fact Tony Benn said that he would prefer to see a form of European commonwealth where Europeans work together without the capitalist influence of a Union.
4. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland
Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland buy most of all Greece.
EU imposed austerity in Greece has seen 50% unemployment and almost the complete sell off of public services.
How is that for prosperity and progression?
This doesn’t even start to cover what’s happening in France where although not the direct responsibility of the EU, the EU has failed to help protect those workers rights again. Is this a race to the bottom as opposed to the top?
5. We don’t need the EU to have social justice or good legislation
We can do it ourselves. Tariq Ali talks about this within his speech at the bottom of this article.
Many will argue the case that we can’t bring social justice whilst the Conservative party rule the roost but then that doesn’t take into account people power and democracy which we address further down the article.
Here is a snippet from our previous post.
“The Conservatives didn’t u-turn out of the goodness of their hearts, they did that because of people power and because we had an opposition that took them to task in parliament. That was democracy in action. It worked”
To think we need to run to the protection of the EU for our rights is a dereliction of democracy, it should also be seen as an insult to Jeremy Corbyn as do we not trust him to bring us the rights we deserve?
6. A Lexit vote is not the sole domain of the far right.
The far right will always vote for something like an exit from the EU. It’s an irrelevance to consider their position. It’s not as if they were weighing up the options and took the decision that we would be better out after all. Out was their starting position by default. You’re not opossing them by voting remain because to oppose something generally assumes that there was another option to take to start with. The far right have no other option.
The Lexit camp consists of these far right little Englanders:
•Jenny Jones, Green Party
•Tariq Ali, left wing historian and activist
•Socialist Workers Party
•Morning Star, left wing newspaper
Not to mention over 300 businesses and CEO’s to name just a few.
To suggest that Brexit/Lexit is only for the right wing is a nonsense argument when you consider that the remain camp consists of Cameron, Osborne, the Conservative Party as an entity and members of the PLP. Again this is something Tariq Ali points out in his video.
7. The EU has racist undertones
This one is slightly more radical but is all the same a valid argument to make. As the screen shot below explains.
Now consider that within one of the stated official aims of the European Union is this sentence “..to safeguard our cultural heritage”. Can you imagine Paul Golding getting away with saying that without it coming across as nothing but racist?
8. The EU is intrinsically linked to supporting Israel
Again many on the left voice strong opinions either against Israel or for Palestine depending on your perception.
There have been boycotts and demonstrations against the Israeli regime. Many wouldn’t dream of doing anything to back the Israeli regime, to those people we advise you to look away now if you don’t want your EU remain vote to be at risk.
The following graphic highlights the Multi Billion Euro trade deal that the EU has with Israel and the financial support the EU provides to Israel in various forms via the European Neighbourhood Policy.
9. Predictions of financial ruin on Lexit is scaremongering
We turn to another graphic that says all there is to say on the matter. (Why bore you with our words when a quick image says a thousand words?)
Suffice to say that the financial institutions on many major issues get it wrong, from the support of the Euro as a good idea to missing (or avoiding) the crash of 2008 right up to the financial institutions predictions surrounding George Osbornes budgets… don’t trust the bankers… Isn’t that what we always tell people?
10. The entire establishment (or 1%) wants to remain
Could it be any more obvious?
11. Corbyn had no choice to vote remain but you do
This is a contentious issue and often results in a response of “he just changed his mind”
This may be the case. Unless we hear it from the man himself then we can only take him at his word. Can’t we?
As much as we want to vote for and believe the nicest man in politics is it really a stretch of the imagination to think that Corbyn may just have been pressured into voting remain.. even if he was slightly unsure at the start?
After all, the left are always telling others to not trust politicians and to question everything… it’s starting to look like that only applies if it’s the opposition. As if our own side couldn’t possibly play the game of politics.
This isn’t even a dig at Corbyn, in fact we think it’s clever play by Corbyn. Historically he has been against the EU whether it be for withdrawing or calling for its reform. His coming record against the EU is pretty telling. The problem is we ask you to imagine what the situation would now be if Corbyn had decided to support a Lexit case. How would the PLP have responded? It doesn’t bare thinking about.
When that is taken into consideration along with the reports of some front benchers demanding he support remain in exchange for their compliance on the front bench with him, it looks likely he had little other choice. In any case it’s a win-win for Corbyn. By voting remain he wins the trust of the PLP and if the country votes remain then he looks good in everyone’s eyes. If the country votes exit then he loses nothing with the PLP and gets his ultimate goal of an unrestricted shot of leading the country in 2020 where he can do exactly what he wants, unhindered by the EU.
12. Voting Lexit will give a Corbyn government far better opportunities in 2020
Wether you believe that the EU provides no restrictions, some restrictions or total restriction on what Corbyn would like to do or not, it is clear that the EU does hinder one way or another some or many aspects of government sovereignty. To think otherwise would appear to be an outlandish suggestion.
That being said then, is it better that Corbyn be able to make the radical changes he desires or face his entire 5 year+ premiership (from 2020?) battling EU restrictions? The EU doesn’t like radical.
13. We wouldn’t be able to just simply exit the EU if it didn’t reform
There is a suggestion that we remain under a Tory government and then if the EU doesn’t reform we exit under a Corbyn government.
How is that for democracy? Yes, we know, the Conservatives don’t play fair with boundary changes etc but let’s not on the left become hypocritical. We can’t call the Conservatives out for playing dirty and then play dirty ourselves. The general election is 4 years away. Maybe then Corbyn will win and spend a minimum of 5 years in charge. What this idea of staying then exiting says is that the left would wish to ignore the referendum result within 9 years which will keep economic concerns going for a very long time. It also suggests that the left will only ask for democracy when it suits them.
We are no fans of the Conservatives but let’s do democracy right. Not just how we think democracy should be done.
Not everyone who wants to remain is a Corbyn fan. We are, but are the PLP or Corbyn haters? An exit then is not a given.
14. There is more democracy in individual member states than there is in the EU.
“You’ve got to be able to defeat the people who govern you” – Tony Benn
This point is often argued but it’s an incredible point to argue against. We touched earlier on the idea of how democracy is won by a good opposition and people power, can that be translated into the EU? Yes we elect MEP’s but for the most part they are impotent. They only have partial say in legislation going through. They can not even present new policy or legislation as ideas. It’s not even just how much democracy the EU has, it’s also about how much democracy YOU have over the EU.
This article doesn’t even cover the issue around Tory disarray after a Brexit or how the EU supports NATO and wars in the Middle East or how smaller government is better than big or how many Indian businessmen think the UK outside of the EU could be good for trade and could result in a trade deal that is elusive to the EU. (Which incidentally could be because of the threat to Western economies from the emergence of the BRICS nations) or indeed any of the other standard arguments made by the official Brexit camps.
Here you can find plenty of reason why it’s perfectly normal, acceptable and reasonable for the left to choose a Lexit over Remain.
The left can decide how a UK under Lexit can prosper and show Europe the way to a socialist ideal without the need for a neo-liberal, Capitalist doctrine from the elite via the EU.
(Video below) Tariq Ali on why the left should exit Europe (Tariq speaks for 25 minutes before taking questions from the floor) Some relevant points are highlighted in the text above.