Brexit: A Historical Defeat for the Tory Government!


Article by Joseph Adams, RCIT Britain, 16.01.2019, and




The 15th of January 2019 was a historic day. Theresa May and her government suffered one of the biggest defeats in Parliament in recent times. This was a historical moment for the British bourgeoisie who are in a terminal crisis. The repercussions will be felt throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Nearly a quarter of her own Party voted against her Brexit proposals. So did Labour, SNP and other smaller parties in Parliament.


“Theresa May has sustained the heaviest parliamentary defeat of any British prime minister in the democratic era after MPs rejected her Brexit deal by a resounding majority of 230.” [1] “Theresa May has pledged to face down a vote of no confidence in her government, after her Brexit deal was shot down by MPs in the heaviest parliamentary defeat of the democratic era. On a day of extraordinary drama at Westminster, the House of Commons delivered a devastating verdict on the prime minister’s deal, voting against it by 432 to 202. The scale of defeat, by a majority of 230, was greater than any seen in the past century, with ardent Brexiters such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson walking through a packed division lobby cheek-by-jowl alongside passionate remainers.” [2]




Corbyn and the Blairites




On the 16th January, following May’s defeat for her Brexit proposals, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, tabled a motion of No-confidence in May and her government which is in a terminal crisis. Predictably the DUP voted with the government to ensure May survived the No Confidence vote by 325-306 a majority of just 19.


Of course Corbyn has his own opponents in the Labour party , the right wing Blairite faction who are opposed to Corbyn and do not want a general election where Corbyn would form a Labour Government. They are pushing for a second referendum to keep the Tories in power.


“Half a dozen Labour MPs came out in support of a second referendum for the first time at a Westminster photocall, arguing it was the “the only logical option” if the party could not secure a general election.


The timing of the demand, a couple of hours before Jeremy Corbyn was due to open the no-confidence debate, irritated the party’s leadership, who said afterwards that another national poll was “not the default option” if the Commons vote was lost. But in response, Corbyn’s spokesman said in a briefing that a second referendum was “not the default option”. When asked if the MPs’ actions were a distraction, he added right now the priority is to bring about a general election; we’ve got a no-confidence motion down today. Not one of these MPs cares about removing a Tory government, in response to a picture of the photocall”. [3]


This action is typical of these Blairite MP’s who are more interested in defending the interests of European imperialism than fighting for an end to austerity, homelessness and racism. They have organized coups against Corbyn who is the elected leader of the Labour Party. They should be de-selected in the case of an election and expelled from the Labour party!




The Crisis of European and British Imperialism




The crisis of British Imperialism is a reflection of the crisis of the world-wide crisis of imperialist nations. There is mass opposition by the working classes and the popular masses against austerity and poverty in France (the yellow vests movement), Greece and Hungary. In the United States there exists a wide opposition against the arch-reactionary and chauvinist Trump Administration. Everywhere imperialism is riven by the inner contradictions of capitalism and the onset of recession and slump. That is what drives them with such ferocity and hatred against the working masses. The RCIT stated this with such clarity in its recently published Open Letter.


“We are living in historic times. Everyone with open eyes can see that the imperialist world order is in severe turmoil. We are heading towards a political volcano eruption. The stock markets are in panic, reflecting the capitalists’ fear of another, imminent Great Recession which will be even worse this time than in 2008/09. The tensions between the imperialist Great Powers are rapidly accelerating as indicated by the looming Global Trade War, the tensions in the South China Sea, at the Russian-Ukrainian border, the new imperialist scramble for Africa, etc. President Trump’s decision to withdraw substantial numbers of U.S. troops from the Middle East and his admission that the U.S. cannot continue to be “the policeman of the world” reflect the official end of the absolute domination of the former super-power. Only a political blind can ignore that the future will be decisively shaped by the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers – the U.S., China, the EU, Russia and Japan.” [4]


The central task in Britain is to push the trade unions and other mass organizations of the working class to organize the struggle on the streets and the work places. The alternative is not to choose between European or British imperialism (i.e. if the UK should remain or leave the EU) but to fight against austerity and against racism. Such a struggle should be combined with the perspective to bring down the Tory government


The RCIT Britain restates its positions:


* For Open Borders! Opposition to racism, chauvinism and immigration controls!


* Critically support the Pro-Corbyn faction in the Labour party against the right-wing Blairites! Expel and deselect all Blairite MP’s from the Labour party!


* In the event of a general election we would call for a critical vote for the Labour Party.


* For an indefinite general strike to overthrow this hated Tory Government: For a workers revolutionary government.


* For revolutionary defeatism. Reject both imperialist camps - Remain and Brexit! For international working class solidarity!


The RCIT in BRITAIN calls on all workers and oppressed to study our program at!