The Communist Party of Britain issued the following statement on Friday, 30 August 2019, at 11.30 pm
The Communist Party reiterates its call for Britain to leave the EU on terms that enable a democratic, left response to our country’s mounting economic and ecological crisis. Hence the Party does not support any movement in the House of Commons or the courts to delay or block Britain’s exit from the EU or to rearrange parliamentary business in a way that maximises the opportunity for Brexit to be sabotaged.
Neither does the Communist Party support any action that will undermine the potential for the people of Britain to elect a left-led Labour government at the earliest opportunity. It is vital that, through the implementation of the left policies expressed in Labour’s last General Election manifesto, the Westminster parliament regains the power to enact comprehensive public ownership for energy, transport and other key utilities. The parliaments of Britain must be able to regenerate regional and national economies through state aid and national and regional investment banks. They must have the power to legislate for comprehensive collective bargaining across all workplaces, so that working people can drive through the changes needed. None of this is possible within the competition terms of the EU Single Market.
A significant majority of MPs have rejected all options for an EU exit over the past three years, including even former PM Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration which would have tied Britain to many provisions of the EU Single Market and Customs Union indefinitely. Despite the pledge of both main parties in the 2017 General Election to uphold the 2016 referendum decision to take Britain out of the EU, they have deliberately countered and frustrated the democratic decision of the people.
PM Boris Johnson’s prorogation of the Westminster parliament is, more than anything else, a direct outcome of this relentless anti-democratic activity. Nevertheless, the Communist Party recognises that the proroguing of parliament risks playing into the hands of those who seek to create a constitutional crisis and who do so in order to frustrate the democratic mandate of the referendum and the last General Election.
However, the Communist Party also asserts that the prorogation of parliament is not the key issue in this political crisis of British state-monopoly capitalism. What must be won is the potential for a left-led government to implement a progressive programme unfettered by the neoliberal restraints of the EU and the machinations of the profit-grabbing monopolies whose interests it represents.
Therefore, the EU referendum decision must now be honoured on October 31 2019, with or without a new or revised agreement with the EU. The responsibility for any disruption caused by a ‘No Deal’ exit lies primarily with the previous pro-EU Tory administration which failed to make adequate preparations for any alternative to its pro-EU proposals, and with MPs who rejected those proposals with the intention of defeating Brexit altogether. At the same time, the left must take every advantage of the chaos, weaknesses and divisions among the Tories and their establishment backers. The decision to prorogue the Westminster parliament throws into stark relief the chronic and now acute crisis of British and EU finance capital. It is the historic duty of Britain’s left and labour movement to seize the opportunity offered by this fundamental division of the ruling class to mobilise in every way possible to bring down Tory rule.
Up to and following an EU exit on October 31, the extra-parliamentary movement for a left and progressive alternative to Tory and big business rule must be stepped up and the conditions created for the victory at an early General Election of a left-led Labour government. This should include supporting demonstrations which call for a General Election, ensuring that the case is made on them for a clean break with the EU.
Only a left-led government will make possible a genuinely democratic solution to the outstanding problems of economic stagnation, social injustice, Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions and threats to international peace. Any other outcome will represent a profound blow to our democracy.