People Before Profit Alliance. Press Statement on Brexit vote


Europa cracks

– Vote to leave is “chickens coming home to roost” for Corporate and increasingly undemocratic Europe

– People Before Profit TD’s and MLA’s say a vote should be seen as an opportunity for an alternative Europe that puts People Before Profit.

In a statement today, People Before Profit’s TD’s and MLA’s, welcomed the exit vote in Britain and called for this democratic vote to be respected by the EU institutions

The vote in Britain is a rejection of the austerity measures driven by the EU and Tories over recent years and David Cameron. It us the EU and the Tories themselves who have whipped up racism and anti-immigrant sentiment and given succour to the racists such as Nigel Farage and the far right across Europe.

Over the last two years the EU has been shown for what it is – a prison house for workers that fosters racism, xenophobia and austerity.

Instead of welcoming refugees the EU confronts them with barbed wire fences, military patrol boats and a rotten deal with Turkey. This has forced hundreds of thousands of people to risk their lives on the open sea. Indeed, tens of thousands of people have already drowned, leaving blood on the hands of the European Union.

The EU has overseen the mass impoverishment of European workers. In 2015 more than half of Greek pensioners were already living below the poverty line (€650 per month). Despite this, the EU bullied and threatened the democratically elected Greek government to accept further austerity. In Ireland the EU forced €64 billion onto taxpayer’s shoulders and in Britain they supported the Tories in their campaign to cut wages whilst blaming immigrants.

Brid Smith TD said: “This Exit vote should be seen as an opportunity for an alternative Europe. I welcome this blow to the EU project, the EU has never been about a workers Europe and its recent treatment of Greece and Ireland shows its primary concern is not the welfare of citizens or refugees but the welfare of the banks and the bond holders.

The EU’s disgraceful treatment of migrants shows that any claim of Europe being progressive died with the signing of the EU – Turkey deal.

It’s a pity that Jeremy Corbyn, with his anti-austerity, pro worker and internationalist record did not take a lead in supporting an Exit. Had he campaigned against it the whole debate could have been pulled away from the racist and far right rhetoric. And we would not be hearing the nonsense that this is just a racist and a right wing vote. “

MLA Gerry Carroll said: “There are ‘reasons to be cheerful’ about the outcome of the EU referendum, and that ‘the next chapter is yet to be written.’ David Cameron—one of Europe’s biggest austerity mongers—is gone”, said Mr Carroll.

“The British establishment, from top to bottom is in turmoil, and Britain may well be facing its biggest constitutional crisis for a century or more. The Tory party, who seemed to be in a position of unquestionable strength just months ago, is split. And the neo-liberal project of the EU—and the European elites that have presided over it, backed by some of the world’s most powerful forces, from the US government, to the IMF—is in a deep crisis. Whatever way you voted yesterday, there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful this Friday morning.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “This vote is the chickens coming home to roost for a Europe of austerity, increasingly undemocratic and dominated by corporate interests. David Cameron and the EU are the authors of their own crisis. It is their policies of unjust austerity and their disgraceful treatment of desperate refugees that has deepened disaffection and alienation among masses of people in both Britain and across Europe and created the space for dangerous forces from the far right to emerge.

If we want to defeat vile xenophobes like Nigel Farage it is not be defending the indefensible policies of the EU, rather it will be by demanding economic justice, real democracy and genuine internationalism across Europe and beyond.

In fact, there is no reason why nasty right wingers like Farage or Boris Johnson should be the beneficiaries of this vote. The defeat of Cameron and the EU presents a huge opportunity for the left to build a real political alternative of a progressive and internationalist kind.”

Eamon McCann MLA said: “From an Irish point of view, One of the most interesting passages in David Cameron’s statement this morning came when he said that, “We must now prepare for a negotiation with the EU. This will need to involve the full participation of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments…”

We are entitled to take the reference to “full participation” literally. No matter who replaces Cameron as Prime Minister, this pledge has been made and will stick.

How the North is represented in the formulation of a negotiating position, by whom and on the basis of what mandate from the Assembly and from the people, is a question requiring a serious debate – which should start now.

We have to get away from the idea that we will be mere spectators as Tories in London and bureaucrats in Brussels sort out the future. We must make ourselves participants. People Before Profit will be making the case for an exit not just from the EU but also from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, intended to consolidate the grip of multinational companies on every European economy.

The trade union movement should make the case for leaving TTIP behind, for ditching European competition laws which prevent the use of State funds to bail out businesses where jobs are threatened, for abandoning the neo-liberal austerity policies imposed across the EU – even at the expense of crushing democracy, as we saw in Greece last year.

These aspects of the EU were scarcely mentioned in the main campaigns across the water – because the Boris Johnson and the David Cameron are equally committed to policies which favour the rich at the expense of the poor.

There is no need for the pessimism and near panic which seems to have descended on many this morning. There is no inevitable outcome here. It’s all to be fought for. We repeat the slogan we put forward during the referendum – In or Out, the fight goes on.

Gino Kenny TD said: “Rather than panic and hysteria about the vote to exit, the establishment and those who support the EU should take a long hard look at themselves and ask why the EU project has so deeply alienated millions of particularly less well-off people across Europe.

It is vitally important that this vote is respected by the EU institutions as the democratic vote of the people and I hope we will not see a re-run of the bullying and punishing tactics that the Greek people experienced when they dared to vote “the wrong way” or that we experienced here in Ireland when we voted against the Nice Treaty!

For more info/confirmation:

Richard Boyd Barrett 086-7814520

Brid Smith 087 9090166

Gino Kenny 085 7211574

Gerry Carroll on 075 96114612

Eamon Mc Cann 079 77924321