While Conservative MPs were voting for and against their party leader, Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said, ‘Now as never before, with all the confusing talk of a “soft” or “hard” or “no deal” Brexit, it is critical to focus on the issues that resulted in a majority to leave the EU, in the biggest democratic exercise in Britain’s history.
‘The majority of voters had had enough of almost ten years of cuts in their incomes and public services. They were fed up with job insecurity and the chronic housing crisis. And they could see that the very politicians and corporate fat cats responsible for austerity were the same ones trying to scare them into voting for the EU and the status quo.
‘Many workers and socialists also understood that the EU and its Single Market, Customs Union and Court of Justice anti-trade union rulings have driven down wages and conditions and allowed big business to do what it wants, including the super-exploitation of migrant workers forced to leave their own countries in search of a job.
‘In short, millions of working people, the unemployed, pensioners and Labour supporters sensed that the EU is part of the problem, not part of the solution to their problems.
‘Ever since the June 2016 referendum result, the Tory MPs around Prime Minister May, Chancellor Hammond and their Business Advisory Council have engaged in bogus negotiations for a bogus Brexit. Two wasted years have led us to the current impasse.
‘They have been aided in this by the many Labour MPs who refuse to recognise any fault in the big business dominated EU. Now they drape themselves in the flag of the people to promote a rerun of the referendum. They hope to overturn the outcome of the first, even before it’s implemented. They do so in the knowledge that their blatant and cynical betrayal of 17.4 million people could well cost Labour a General Election victory.
‘People will be asking if there is a way out of this mess. To them, the Communist Party says: join the debate, mobilise, have discussions in workplaces and union branches and on local and trades union councils, use the new materials about to be published by the CP and reject any bogus Brexit deal foisted on us by a pro-EU Westminster parliament.
‘Do we need a second EU referendum? No, because the last one has not yet been acted upon – and we are not in Ireland or Denmark, where people have to have repeat referendums until they endorse EU treaties. Nor are we in the Netherlands, France or Greece where anti-EU referendum results are simply ignored. What we need in Britain is a real vote of the people, in a General Election.
‘Free from EU treaties, rules and directives, a left-led Labour government could develop a worker-led industrial strategy; invest in youth and jobs, social welfare, housing, education and health services; and take the transport, energy and postal service profiteers back into public ownership.
‘We urge people think of the future in the battlesof the present. The path to a left government able to implement left and progressive policies lies through a real Brexit – a “People’s Brexit” – outside the EU and its Single Market and Customs Union’.