IV. Conclusions


To summarize, we have elaborated that the RCIT considers Cameron’s referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union as a political trap. The working class and the oppressed in Britain should oppose any form of imperialist state – be it Britain as a member of the EU or an independent Britain (most likely as a subservient poodle of US imperialism).

Contrary to the views of the social-imperialist British left – divided in a “UK First”-camp and a pro-EU-camp – the basic issue of the referendum is not a domestic conflict between different parties or within the Conservative party. Neither is it about national independence or the unification of Europe. Nor are the main issues whether people are for or against austerity or for or against racism. The main character of the referendum is the alternative between two different political forms of imperialist state organization – an imperialist UK within the imperialist EU or without as junior partner of US imperialism.

Most of the British left fails to recognize this. Forces like the CPB, the SP/CWI or the SWP/IST call for Britain’s exit from the EU as a strike against austerity or against imperialism. They “forget” that at the same time they say YES to an “independent” imperialist Britain which is qualitatively not better than the imperialist EU.

The AWL and others who advocate Britain’s continuing membership in the EU claim that this would be a step towards the unification of Europe and in support of the migrants’ right for free movement inside the EU. They too “forget” that at the same time they say YES to Britain as part of a more and more powerful imperialist EU which acts as a global great power suppressing the people of the South and which increasingly exploits the workers, migrants and oppressed nations inside the EU.

Against this backdrop the central task for socialists is to support the working class in gaining political independence from both factions of imperialism (as well as their social-imperialist supporters): Neither support for UK’s exit from the EU nor for its continued membership. Instead, workers and oppressed should go to the polls on the day of the referendum and write on their ballot: “Neither Brussels, nor Downing Street! For international Unity of the Workers and Oppressed”, i.e., effectively abstaining from the vote. This is the only way to avoid becoming foot soldiers for any imperialist camp. This is the only way to advance the program of proletarian internationalism in the present situation.