Republican Exit

The latest twist in the political crisis has seen the ‘magnificent seven’ Labour MPs forming their break-away grouping. Comparison has been made with 1981 and the ‘Gang of Four’ who left Labour to form the SDP. History seems to be repeating itself but this time something is different.

The tectonic plates of the ‘Brexit Revolution’ are in motion. The English or Anglo-British two party system of Tory and Labour is being overlaid by three shadow ‘parties’. Of course Scotland and Northern Ireland and to a lesser extent Wales are in the same Westminster system and yet work with a different party dynamic.

The three shadow Brexit ‘parties’ in Westminster are Leave, Democratic-Remain and Remain. The seeds of the Remain ‘party’ are now in the open as an independent group. Their policies are for another referendum with a Remain question, the condemnation of Labour as an anti-Semitic party (i.e. support for a Zionist Israel) and total opposition to Corbyn as Labour leader and future PM.

Of course Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. I condemn slanders against him. I condemn the anti-Semitic campaign against the Labour Party, whose main motive is to undermine and overthrow Corbyn by splitting the Labour Party.

The Democratic-Remain ‘party’ are those in favour of remaining in the EU but who accept the result of the 2016 EU referendum. Acceptance does not mean ignoring the gerrymandering by Cameron and the Tories, to exclude most EU residents paying taxes and living in the UK.

Labour under Corbyn is leading the Democratic-Remain ‘party’. I would urge all members of Corbyn-Labour to oppose any repeat and remain referendum or any remain question on the ballot, at least until it is included in a general election manifesto or there is a significant change in public opinion.

Despite not being a member of the Labour Party, I have nailed my republican colours to the Democratic-Remain ‘party’ mast. Republicans should go further and support a policy of a Democratic Exit from the European Union, which leads towards a republican road.

A Democratic Exit accepts it was right to trigger Article 50 whilst recognising that Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain and England and Wales voted to leave the EU. There was no mandate to leave the single market or the customs union.

Supporters of a Democratic Exit must take up cudgels for the right of Northern Ireland and Scotland to remain. They should demand a ratification referendum on any negotiated settlement with an extended franchise. This should include all resident EU citizens and 16-17 year olds, enabled in the 2014 Scottish referendum.

Far from defending the right of the Scottish people to remain in the EU, the SNP capitulated. They settled for a British Unionist compromise whereby all parts of the UK to remain in the single market and the customs union.

This was a consequence of paying too much attention to Westminster. The SNP ‘sold out’ the majority vote in Scotland. They failed to promise the Scottish people a ratification referendum on any deal coming from the Crown, regardless of whether the UK parliament grants a UK wide Yes/No referendum.

The SNP failed to use their majority in the Scottish parliament to implement the right to ratify. Instead they played the Westminster game by supporting a Repeat-Remain referendum and lining up with the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, left Tories and Magnificent Seven party. They have acted like British liberals not Scottish democrats.

As a regular reader of Weekly Worker I can’t work out the current tactics advocated by the CPGB. I still see the CPGB as Pontius Pilate mixing his metaphors and casting a plague on all houses. I don’t know if you are backing a Democratic-Remain line, or the Remain line now being advocated by the liberals. So far Weekly Worker seems unable or incapable of recognising the distinction between ratification Yes-No referendum and a repeat In-Out referendum.

This distinction is now crucial for the fight against the Tory government, against the new Remain party. It is important for the Tories winning a general election in May or June if Theresa May’s deal goes through the Commons. Finally there is no recognition by the CPGB of the rights of the Irish and Scottish people to remain in the EU.

Steve Freeman

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