Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Always About Democracy

Ben Chacko writes:

Revelations that the European Commission is “playing hardball” on Brexit because it fears an interventionist Jeremy Corbyn government confirm “the reasons I voted against every single European treaty,” Labour veteran Dennis Skinner told the Morning Star today.

A senior EU source briefed The Times that commissioners were ramping up fears of Tory deregulation “because it is better public relations,” but their “real fear is state subsidies under a Corbyn government.”

The source noted that British policy had remained “unchanged for generations, but now there is a real chance of a left-wing government reversing it,” and said the EU would be pushing for a “non-regression clause” locking Thatcherite policies into British law “to protect ourselves and the single market.”

Though the European Commission has dismissed the story as gossip, Mr Skinner said it tallied with the EU record of “assisting private enterprise at every turn.”

A socialist government would face a tougher fight inside a bloc “dominated by unelected European commissioners,” the Bolsover MP pointed out. “My objections have always been about democracy, never about immigration.”

Though the Harold Wilson government had nationalised aerospace and shipbuilding with a majority of one in 1974, this had happened “before the EU got its right-wing political boots on” with the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties, he said.

Left leave campaign Lexit convener Alex Gordon warned that the exposé “shows it’s essential for supporters of Labour’s election manifesto For the Many, Not the Few to get off the fence and fight for a Brexit based on jobs and public services and against any attempt to force a second referendum or keep Britain in the single market or customs union.

“A Corbyn-led Labour government intent on public control of essential services such as water, electricity, rail and the post and taking control over the terms of procurement and investment of public funds would be hogtied from day one by EU competition law and state-aid rules.

“The Times article has blown the lid off the dirty little secret of Labour ‘centrists’ and Theresa May, who want to scupper Labour’s programme before any election by tying down a deal that keeps future British governments confined within a neoliberal straitjacket,” he told the Morning Star.

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