The May government has, at last, published its plans for Brexit – a mealy-mouthed compromise with the European Union that reflects the deep divisions over Brexit within the British ruling class. Some MPs will welcome the commitment to remain in the EU customs union. For others, whose campaign for a second referendum has been boosted by the collapse of UKIP and the relentless equivocation of the Blairite back-stabbers in the Parliamentary Labour Party, it doesn’t go far enough. And it still leaves the country within the ambit of the economic controls of the EU.
Two years ago millions of people voted decisively to leave the EU. Brexit would mark a significant shift in the balance of power between capital and Labour in Britain. It would leave a Labour government free to trade with any country around the world and free to invest in British manufacturing industry. It would be a government ready to restore trade union rights and in so doing reverse the yawning wealth gap between rich and poor in Britain. It would be a government that could cap rents and burst the housing bubble that sees our cities’ forests of towering luxury homes owned by investment companies whilst our workers are forced to sleep on the streets.
We voted for Brexit and that’s what we want, and if the Tory-led coalition cannot deliver it – and it clearly can’t – then it must be brought down in parliament to pave the way for fresh elections.
For us the issue is clear. We want another election to get Labour in and the Tories out. We want Labour to stand by the people’s vote to leave the EU without any ifs or buts. And the surest guarantee of Brexit is a massive majority for Labour at the next election.