After the BREXIT Vote – Stormy times ahead for the workers and oppressed in Britain
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), www.thecommunists.net, 24.6.2016
1. An historic day has shattered Britain and the European Union. In the Referendum deciding whether to remain in or leave the EU 51.9%, of the British people voted in favor Brexit. Since the results were announced events have developed very quickly. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, the British Pound is at its lowest since 1985, and The London’s stock market closed with a loss of 7.5%, But London’s stock market is not the only financial markets which suffered from the result.
2. A new Black Friday hit the stock markets worldwide. Germany’s DAX index has dropped by 10% for longer time during the day - the same with Paris stock market. Even Tokyo’s Nikkei plunged by 7.92% and the Dow Jones dropped by 2.7%. However, the banks have been hit the hardest. The Commerzbank and the German Deutsche Bank had a loss of 17%. Banks at the London stock market plunged even by 25%! The BREXIT vote has obviously led to a stock-market-‘Hara-kiri’. The parasitic financial capital is shattered and the illusion that the Pro-EU forces would win the Referendum has created a huge financial crisis. Financial experts are even thinking about downgrading Britain’s Triple A. On this post-BREXIT Black Friday figures have shown that the unbelievable amount of 5 Trillion Dollars market capitalization has been eliminated. This is equal to double the economic output of Britain. The RCIT stands for the elimination of these freeloaders – the stock markets – and for the Nationalization of the assets in commodity trading at the stock markets!
3. The historical character of the BREXIT VOTE is not dominated by the short term consequences for the parasitic financial capital. The long term outcome of this historic referendum poses important questions. The results from Scotland and Northern Ireland are completely different to the ones of England and Wales. 55.8% of the votes from Northern Ireland and even 62% of the Scottish votes were in favor of remaining in the EU. Immediately after the referendum the Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she wants a new referendum on the independence of Scotland. Also Sinn Fein argued immediately after the referendum for the independence of Northern Ireland and the creating of a united Ireland. The deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuiness, asked the British government to enable a referendum on an independent Northern Ireland.
4. Those are the developments which the British bourgeoisie has tried to avoid: We are witnessing the breakup of the United Kingdom, whilst Northern Ireland has had a long tradition of struggle for independence against England; the Scottish working class has mainly economic interests which has led them to break with Britain. The privatizations and the cuts in the Health Care System, in the NHS led by London’s austerity plans for Britain are the main triggers for the Scottish working class to opt for Scottish independence. A huge part of the votes for remaining in the EU came from Scotland and Northern Ireland who feared more austerity packages dictated by London. Both, the bourgeois and the petit-bourgeois forces in Northern Ireland and Scotland hope to use BREXIT as a good chance to break with Britain without any problems (supported by and with the support of the EU).
5. The outcome of the Referendum was not only interesting because of the gap between the votes from Scotland and Northern Ireland compared with the ones from England and Wales. The huge gap between the votes coming from the younger and the older people is of special interest. More than 75% of the 18 to 24 years old voters were in favor of remaining in the EU. Even the majority, i.e. 56% of the 25 to 49 years old voters were in favor of remaining in the European Union. The victory of the UK first campaign was based on people who were over 50 years old! It is much more likely that the result would have looked different if the 16 and 17 years old youth had been allowed to vote. The RCIT called correctly for supporting neither the YES-Camp nor the NO-Camp in the referendum of the BREXIT. However, the RCIT demands the equal right of young people to vote from the age of 14. It is ridiculous to force such young people to work, to put them in jail if they are breaking the bourgeois law and to deny them basic democratic rights. In addition to this the youth have a much more progressive character which is also shown in the number of the supporters of UKIP, an emerging right-wing populist force. Young people under 21 years rarely support right wing parties like UKIP compared to all other age groups. The majority of UKIP supporters is over 45 years old and support Britain’s inhuman anti-migration laws.
6. The outcome of the referendum, the victory of the BREXIT campaign, is indeed ambivalent. In the first place the victory of the NO-campaigners is a protest against the politics of the British government. The huge majority of the British ruling class was in favor of the YES-campaign. Even the assassination of the Labor MP, Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed by a radical right-wing activist, was used by the bourgeois media to mobilize for the YES-campaign. Indeed, all parties except UKIP were in favor of remaining in the EU. The NO-campaigners also focused to win the older voters by an obviously successful orientation towards their interests. The central slogan was to actively support the NHS instead of paying money to the European Union. They argued that the weekly paying from Britain of 350 Million Pound should be used for the health care system. This slogan was immediately rejected by UKIP after the referendum but it was not raised by them beforehand. However, it is undoubtedly the case that many voted for leaving the EU because of their fear of further migration. This fear was not evident in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Scotland alone the problem is enormous and without migration there would be no chance to keep the economy working.
7. The Revolutionary-Communist International Tendency (RCIT) in opposition to the social-imperialists of the UK first campaign like the Socialist Party of England and Wales (SPEW, British section of the CWI), the Socialist Workers Party (SWP, British section of the IST) and the Stalinist Communist Party of Britain (CPB) were not in favor of the exit of imperialist Britain from the EU. The RCIT has chosen neither the way of the so-called Marxist supporters of the YES-campaign who are in reality part of a Pro-EU-social-imperialist strategy like the pro-Zionist Alliance for Workers' Liberty (AWL) and the Mandelite Socialist Resistance. Even our former comrades of the League for the Fifth International (LFI) have argued wrongly in favor of remaining in the European Union likewise Jeremy Corbyn. The RCIT chose revolutionary defeatism. Now the time has come to utilize the outcome of the referendum to strengthen the revolutionary forces in Britain and the whole of Europe!
8. The outcome of the referendum is a clear signal against the British government and has to lead in the right direction. Part of this is the formation of a new workers party on a revolutionary basis which is able to organize the working class and all oppressed who are frustrated by the politics of the existing parties. Now is the time to fight strongly against any kind of racism that is led against migrants and refugees. We have to fight for opening the borders and, for unlimited right of residence in Britain and for full equal rights for all migrants. Now is also the time to fight strongly against the austerity politics of the British bourgeoisie. The fight against the cuts in the NHS is an important and progressive aspect which can bring the NO-Voters who are against the austerity politics of the British government together with the YES-Voters from Scotland. The fight against the privatization of the heath care system and the social system as such must go hand in hand with the slogan of the expropriation of the banks and the corporations under workers control!
9. In addition to this the slogan „British troops out of Northern Ireland!“ is essential for a revolutionary movement in Britain as well as the demand to withdraw all British troops out of semi-colonial countries. The semi-colonial countries have to receive massive compensation for the exploitation of British imperialism and the super-rich. The superrich have to be expropriated as soon as possible! Last but not least the fight for an alternative to the imperialist European Union is important. Such an alternative should not be the same as practiced in Switzerland but instead a Britain which is part of the United Socialist States of Europe. Only through revolutionary uprisings, and the armed revolution of the workers and oppressed of Europe can lead to the United Socialist States of Europe. Britain is facing exciting times ahead.
10. Facing these exciting times is of such high and urgent importance that authentic revolutionary forces in Britain must build a united organization by their joint efforts! Such an organization has to be truly internationalist. It means that it has to fight consequently any kind of chauvinism –may it be pro-EU or pro-UK – and that such an organization has to combine revolutionary defeatism with the perspectives of the United Socialist States of Europe. It means that such an organization has to combine the fight against austerity and privatization with the demand for full equal rights for migrants and ethnic minorities and the demand for the opening of the borders for all migrants. It means that such an organization works as a part of an international Marxist organization instead of trying to exist as a national-isolated force. Such an organization has to be based on a Marxist program and the Leninist principles of party building. It means that such an organization is not orientating towards the middle class and the intellectuals but instead towards the broad layers of the working class and the oppressed. It means that such an organization intervenes as an avant-garde organization in class struggle and fights against reformists and centrists. It means that such an organization works as a united collective on the base of united program, strategy and tactic and not as an agglomerate of individuals. To all class-conscious workers, to all oppressed and revolutionaries in Britain: Let us turn the exciting times ahead into revolutionary struggle! It’s high time to organize yourselves! Join the RCIT!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
We refer our readers also to the following essay:
The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism; An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism; By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT); http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/