The Communist Party of Britain has condemned the Brexit Phase One agreement between the British government and the EU Commission announced today (December 8).
‘This pro-big business, minority Tory regime is loyally carrying out the instructions of its EU Business Advisory Council to tie Britain to the EU single market for the foreseeable future, while paying through the nose for that dubious privilege’, CPB general secretary Robert Griffiths declared.
‘The Irish border question is being used as the pretext for Britain’s continuing subjection to EU rules and institutions in the guise of so-called “regulatory alignment”‘, he argued. Mr Griffiths called instead for Britain’s commercial border with the EU to be marked by the Irish Sea rather than submit to an ‘Ulster loyalist veto’.
The CPB general secretary recalled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s warning in a BBC interview on September 24 that EU single market rules would prohibit a future Labour government from implementing its policies on public spending, state aid to industry and public ownership of the railways.
‘The list is even longer than that’, Mr Griffiths claimed, insisting that Labour’s manifesto pledges to raise investment funds through central bank bonds, end the super-exploitation of ‘posted’ workers, radically restructure VAT and reform public procurement contracts would all fall foul of EU treaties and directives.
Maintaining alignment with EU single market rules would also hugely restrict the basis on which a future British government could negotiate trade deals with China, Australia, Canada and other countries.
‘The labour movement in Britain must wake up to the threat posed by EU “regulatory alignment” and any similar transitional arrangements to Labour’s plans to invest in public services, industry and infrastructure and to promote social justice’, the CPB leader urged.
He also attacked the ‘extortionate’ financial divorce settlement outlined in the Phase One agreement.
‘The EU Commission had originally demanded around £100bn, Prime Minister May then flew to Florence and offered £18bn – and now that has doubled to somewhere between £35bn and at least £39bn’, Mr Griffiths pointed out.
‘This will come on top of Britain’s net contribution of £21bn over the next two years and will mean extra public spending cuts unless we elect a left-led Labour government that will end austerity and tax the rich and big business’, he added.