As Britain is approaching a referendum which has the ability to reshape the future of British politics, economics and culture, the case for left to back the brexit campaign is as clear and compelling as it has ever been. Yet right now the political conditions in the UK means a Brexit vote would be even more disastrous than people may think.
The development of a European community after WW2 happened on the backdrop of rising European fascism and multiple incidents of genocide and ethnic cleansing. It is the memory of these events which make people view the EU as a necessity, a positive force for good in a time of devastation and instability. This was indeed the case, however, this view needs re assessing;
The treatment of Greece for instance, they have been driven into economic collapse through reckless lending from German and French banks, and unsurprisingly it is Germany and France who are benefiting most from the bailout process. Furthermore, these bailouts are only granted providing Greece commits to economic reforms which will bring them in line with the neoliberal ambitions economic ambitions of the EU.
The proposed TTIP is another example of the undemocratic EU we find ourselves a member of. The threat TTIP (would have) posed to our publicly run NHS was negotiated in secret by unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats with corporate interests at the front of their minds. In a country so proud of our Welfare State we should be concerned by the treaties negotiated by the EU which seek to enforce free market policies based on privatisation and completely remove any form of Keynesian economics - put plainly, this is not democracy.
To add to this, there is still no plan in place to 'distribute' the refugees accepted into Germany last summer, and many nations such as Belgium have become increasingly hostile to the growing number of refugees arriving in Europe. As no solution is reached and this militant stance grows, Europe faces the real prospect of a shift to the far right, with Hungary on the brink of fascism and the rise of the Front National in France. But with an institution that is run for the economic gain of the few again the EU seems incapable of providing a moral and sustainable solution.
These issues alone provide the left with more than enough reasoning to vote to leave. However, I believe the decision is far from clear cut. Leaving the EU in the political climate of the UK right now, will mean one thing - the right of the Conservatives will take hold of Britain's government.
Boris Johnson, and others on the right of the Conservative party are heading the leave campaign, not based on the issues mentioned above, but with an ambition to further their own political agendas and seek a mandate to shape the post Brexit economy with the vision of brining back neoliberal Thatcherite politics. Whilst some like Daniel Hannan are campaigning to leave the EU with genuine conviction and belief, which I completely respect. Johnson is a man whose only interest is to further his own career. Two years ago Johnson was an avid supporter of Britain remaining in the EU, now the comparisons of the EU to the Third Reich show his pure desperation and lack of any genuine view point on the vote. In many senses a vote for Brexit, whether you like it or not is a vote to enhance the political career of Boris Johnson. The prospect of allowing the likes of Johnson, two years to shape post Brexit Britain for me offers far greater risks to our sovereignty than remaining in the EU. It is hard to say whether the political conditions for a 'Brexit' will ever be perfect, but I know I would much rather leave the EU knowing that a secure government, working in the interests of the many would be what we would be left with.
Furthermore, it is not just the prospect of what post Brexit Britain might look like which urges me to vote to remain in the EU. Within Europe today left wing groups in Greece and the likes of Podemos in Spain are actively fighting the battle for a reformed Europe. Whether this is truly possible is debatable, but at the same time we can only find out by remaining in the EU and joining their struggle. When despite everything, the Greek people bravely voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU they called for solidarity, solidarity from the other ordinary citizens of Europe to stand with them and not allow the nameless, faceless bureaucrats tear apart our European community. This is something we cannot do from outside.
There is no arguing against the corruptness of the EU, the system is flawed and concentrates authority in a minority who are given the political and economic power to crush the sovereignty of countries like Greece. Moreover, it is hard to say whether true meaningful reform (not the type offered by Cameron) will ever be possible in such a corrupt unit, whose obsession with free market, neoliberal economics prevents true democracy ever taking place. Yet right now, I believe Britain needs to remain in the union to be able to fight back with Greece but also to squash the re-emergence of the right, neoliberal branch of the Tory party, who are hell bent on propelling us back into a Thatcherite age.
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