The Communist Party of Britain urges MPs to support the swift passage of the new EU Withdrawal Bill which is due to have its Second Reading vote later today (October 22).
‘While we have substantial reservations about aspects of the proposed legislation, the issue of Britain’s membership needs to be settled so that Labour can go into an imminent General Election on a bold, radical manifesto of domestic policies’, Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths declared.
‘The alternative is a General Election campaign dominated by Brexit, with Boris Johnson accusing Labour of failing to abide by its own pledge to honour the people’s vote in June 2016 to leave the European Union’, he argued.
In particular, Mr Griffiths warned against Labour turning into an unequivocally anti-Brexit party, not only committed to supporting a repeat referendum but also to campaigning in one to remain in the EU in all circumstances.
‘If Labour follows the line of pro-EU disciples such as Hilary Benn, Emily Thornberry and Tom Watson, we could face the absurd spectacle of the party leadership opposing a Brexit settlement negotiated by their own Labour government”, he remarked.
Instead, the CP leader urged Labour to stand by its 2017 General Election manifesto pledges to help implement Brexit, extend state aid to industry, take the railways into monopoly public ownership, reform VAT and public procurement rules, rebuild regional development policy and negotiate fair trade agreements with dynamic and emerging economies beyond Europe.
‘Continuing alignment with EU capitalist free-market and customs union rules makes these policies very difficult if not impossible to implement’, Mr Griffiths insisted.
He added that the election of a left-led Labour government offered the best guarantee of maintaining and improving labour, consumer and environmental standards and rights.
‘The EU and its commission, court and central bank have not protected the working class anywhere against austerity, privatisation and anti-worker deregulation. Rather they have imposed them in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain and Ireland as well as proposing them to governments in Britain and elsewhere’, Mr Griffiths pointed out.