WEDNESDAY’S humiliating defeat of the Tory government over the EU Withdrawal Bill signalled the emergence of a bloc between the Labour Party, now firmly under the domination of its right-wing, and eleven Tory anti-Brexit MPs.
This bloc has only one aim, to overturn the referendum result to leave the EU. When MPs talk about the ‘sovereignty of Parliament’ they are in reality demanding the right to overturn the democratic vote of over 17 million to leave, and impose a Parliamentary dictatorship over the country.
The amendment that was passed was proposed by the fanatical pro-EU cabal of Tory MPs led by Dominic Grieve and basically gave MPs the right to vote down any changes negotiated in a Brexit deal with Brussels. But Grieve made it clear that it would not stop there.
After May’s humiliating defeat Grieve crowed that he was sure the government would be defeated again next week over an amendment to set in law the date of 29th March 2019 for the UK to leave the EU. Grieve told the BBC: ‘I hope very much (another rebellion) won’t be necessary because if the government comes back with that date I’m sure the government will be defeated.’
Grieve is confident because Labour MPs, with just two exceptions, completely abandoned Labour’s manifesto commitment to leave the EU and voted for his amendment. In doing so they have joined the campaign to wreck Brexit completely.
This has always been the aim of Labour’s right-wing and now Corbyn and his fellow ‘lefts’ are wholeheartedly endorsing this wrecking strategy. The Labour leadership can’t even claim that they voted against the Tories in order to expose their weakness as a minority, crisis government.
Following this defeat there was no demand that they resign, from Corbyn or the Labour leadership.
Bringing down this hated Tory government is the last thing on their minds; the only thing they are concerned with is keeping bankrupt British capitalism tied to the EU. Corbyn today is acting merely as a figurehead, a ‘left’ cover for the plans being carried out by Labour’s chief Brexit negotiator Sir Keir Starmer.
The Labour Party is now playing the role of a fifth column for the EU within the workers’ movement, working flat out in alliance with Tory remainers to smash up the Brexit decision in the interests of the bosses and bankers who are desperate to remain.
In this the Labour leadership have the full support of the TUC bureaucracy who have been leading the charge to overturn the referendum result and whose general secretary, Francis O’Grady, has openly called for the formation of a coalition party to oppose Brexit.
Until 1988 the TUC had a principled position of opposition to the EU which it correctly identified as a capitalist conspiracy against the working class of Europe. This changed in 1988 when Jacques Delors, the then EU president, addressed the TUC conference and held out to the union bureaucrats a vision of a corporatist Europe with seats on the board for union leaders.
It was this corporatist dream that has won the support of the TUC and Labour leaders. The fact that for the working class of Europe the EU has offered nothing but unrelenting austerity attacks on their wages, pensions and benefits in order to keep the banks and industry from collapsing is of no importance when compared to the offer of seats at the capitalist table for these leaders.
With the Labour Party and TUC leadership openly collaborating with the ‘Remain’ wing of the Tory party to defy the democratic referendum vote it is clear that the Parliament of the bourgeoisie today has openly declared itself the enemy of the working class, nothing more than a running dog for the EU.
What has become crystal clear is that this Parliament will not break with the EU. To achieve Brexit means bringing down this Parliament through a socialist revolution that will bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, and join hands with the workers of Europe to abolish the EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.