PRIME Minister May in her letter to EU President Tusk has described the invoking of Article 50 to begin the UK’s withdrawal from the EU as a ‘historic moment from which there can be no turning back’, adding that ‘the referendum was a vote to restore, as we see it, our national self-determination’.
She added for good measure: ‘As I have announced already, the government will bring forward legislation that will repeal the Act of Parliament – the European Communities Act 1972 – that gives effect to EU law in our country.’
The referendum result was all the more remarkable and revolutionary since all of the main parties that run British capitalism, Tory, Labour and Liberal were completely opposed to this restoration of national self-determination, and were desperate to remain under the thumb of the Brussels EU bureaucracy, and the European Court.
PM May, and Labour leader Corbyn, as well as the TUC were 100% volunteers to continue being slaves to Brussels. Indeed, the revolutionary referendum result created such a crisis that, after the resignation of those responsible for calling the referendum, Tory leaders Cameron and Osborne, the party’s leadership election had to be abandoned so that May who voted ‘Remain’ could be appointed prime minister by the Tory 1922 Committee.
World history has played a cruel joke on British imperialism! In the 1960s it disposed of the last bastions of the empire, ended its East of Suez policy, and began its reluctant association with the EEC before plunging into the EU, and thereby accepting second place in a German capitalist-led Europe.
In fact, Labour, after initial opposition to the EEC, under Blair and Brown became out-and-out supporters of the EU (with Blair wanting to join the single currency). Both men were super-enthusiasts for globalisation and deregulation of the banks, selling off the gold reserves under Gordon Brown, who grandly announced that he had resolved the boom-to-bust crisis of capitalism, right on the brink of the 2008 big bust of the housing market and the banks, that plunged capitalism into its greatest crisis, and devastated the living standards of the working class in the UK and on a world scale.
It is this background that drove the working class in the UK to reject the bourgeois political order with the Brexit referendum vote, and then workers in the US to elect the outsider (billionaire Trump) in the US presidential election, and then to create a huge crisis in France, where it is now being fought out on the streets before the presidential election, and in Germany, Greece etc.
The UK ruling class has now been reduced to adopting a parody of its pre-1945 role, when it still had a great empire and a great navy and was a world power. It now has none of these assets, and is being reduced to the role of a clown boasting that the world is once again its oyster, and is returning to its role east of Suez, now that it has been freed (against its will) from the EU.
In fact, UK capitalism is just a shadow of its former self, that cannot even guarantee the continuing unity of Britain! All it can guarantee is a total war to destroy forever all of the gains that the working class made post-1945 – from the NHS, to free state education, and council housing, while eliminating the right to strike.
It can only survive by becoming a gun for hire for US imperialism, and spreading the Uber, Deliveroo poison of seeking to reduce the working class to individuals with no basic rights or trade unions. In fact, the referendum is just the beginning of the revolutionary role of the working class in the UK and thoughout Europe in particular.
Immediately ahead in the UK is the organisation of a general strike to defend the NHS from Tory privatisation, to win wage rises that take back all that has been lost since 2010, and provide all young people with free state education, as well as putting an end to sleeping on the streets by building millions of council houses.
This general strike will create the conditions for a socialist revolution in the UK and for spreading it all over Europe, where the working class is also on the march, in France, Italy, Greece and Germany and ready for the call to bury the EU, and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe!