Friday, 26 February 2016

A Socialist Campaign For Europe - Part 5 of 5

For A United States of Europe

In 1979, socialists faced a similar problem. Today we seek to argue for a vote to stay in Europe, but without giving any credence to the conservative arguments put forward either by Cameron, or by social-democracy. Back in 1979, the dilemma was to argue for a Labour victory in the election, but without supporting either the record of the Wilson/Callaghan government or the programme on which Labour was fighting the election. The solution to that problem was the creation of the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory, one of whose supporters at the time was Jeremy Corbyn.

We need a similar approach today in relation to the EU Referendum. To the extent that left social democrats are prepared to support such a socialist campaign, we should welcome them. But, the starting point for such a campaign ought to be a rejection of any concept of British exceptionalism, or the idea that the interests of British workers can be viewed separately from the interests of other workers across Europe.

We ought to make the foundation of the campaign not just a campaign for a vote to Stay In, but an ongoing campaign for a further development of Europe towards a United States of Europe, as the basic framework within which to fight for a European Workers Government, and a Socialist United States of Europe. A basic element of A Socialist Campaign for Europe, in the referendum, should then be the inclusion within it of socialists from across Europe, a focus not just on the concerns of British workers, but of workers in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Hungary and all other EU countries, and how those concerns can only be addressed on a common basis of struggle.

That would mean linking up with existing campaigns such as Another Europe is Possible, or that proposed by Yanis Varoufakis.

The existence of the Syriza government in Greece, of Podemos in Spain, of the Left Bloc in Portugal makes that easier, because it demonstrates the possibility of linking up, at least social-democratic forces, across Europe on the basis of opposing austerity, but it also demonstrates why even such a limited objective can only be achieved by building a movement across Europe. Cameron has opened a Pandora's Box that should be used by socialists to drive the wedge within conservatism even wider, and the hammer that will drive in that wedge should be a united working-class campaign across Europe, during the referendum campaign and continuing after, for the deepening of the existing EU, for its democratisation, and the establishment of common rights and benefits for all workers within its borders, for the establishment of a single fiscal regime and treasury to finance it, as part of the establishment of a United States of Europe.

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