IN her speech in Florence, Tory PM May called for a two-year implementation period, after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.
Up to that date, the UK will hand over billions in taxpayers’ money as it is obliged to by its continuing membership, and also agree to a divorce settlement. Billions more will be handed over to the EU in the two-year implementation period after March 2019 to allow joint scientific, educational, and common defence work with a security partnership and treaty to be agreed and entered into, according to May.
During that implementation period, a new dispute resolution mechanism will be developed to replace both the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. British workers will not be rid of the EU until 2021, five years after the referendum. May did not mention any figure to cover a final settlement, since it is believed that over £100bn will pass over to the EU by March 2021.
There is to be a two-year ‘breathing space’ during which the UK will pay billions to keep the British bosses’ ties with the Single Market and the Customs Union. All that was illustrated in Florence is that the British ruling class has never got over the shock of being defeated in a referendum called by its own ruling class party, the Tories, who assumed that they would romp home, and were shaken rigid when millions of workers rejected the Tory party and the big banks and bosses who were threatening a disaster if the vote should go against them.
The disaster of losing was all the greater since the leaders of the Labour Party and the leaders of the main trade unions were 100% for staying in the EU and joined in the predictions of the end of the world if the referendum was lost. They remain of that opinion and are behind May’s delaying plan for a further two-year implementation period, since it gives them the time and opportunity for a counter-revolution at home, to halt Britain’s exit from the EU.
Meanwhile, the austerity drive continues at home, as workers and their families are made poorer and poorer. Workers’ anger has reached the point where a huge strike wave for big increases in wages has begun, with millions on the march, as the revolutionary crisis of British imperialism, first seen in the defeat of the referendum, intensifies as the masses threaten to bring down the Tories and then to take Corbyn by his beard and dictate to him what must be done.
This is the ruling class nightmare, and it is not without a massive foundation in the class struggle in the UK. What has become obvious is that British capitalism is finished. It could not win its own referendum, and now it is desperate to find a way to stay in the EU and to smash the UK trade unions which are now being forced into a growing strike wave.
The pro-EU Tories want to ‘remain’ where they can work with the German and French banks to drive back the working class of the UK. The anti-EU Tories want to be Donald Trump’s other island, and plan a deregulation paradise where workers work for nothing and the masses have been returned to the 19th century. Central to this plan are the moves to privatise the NHS.
In fact, the referendum result was an expression of the UK working class’s determination not to be driven back to the last century, but to bring the Tories and the bosses down. UK capitalism is an historically outmoded system whose industries and banks have been all but smashed. The notion that Britain can leave the EU but stay in the Customs Union and the Single Market is a fallacy; in fact it is a joke.
British capitalism is on its knees. It deserves to perish. The position of the Workers Revolutionary Party is crystal clear. The UK working class must insist that it is the master now and take massive strike actions including general strike action, to bring down the May government and bring in a workers’ government.
This will break immediately with the EU and not pay a penny in any kind of compensation. It will then proceed to nationalise the British banks and the major industries and bring in a socialist planned economy based on the satisfaction of the needs of the working class.
It will as well form an alliance with the German, French and EU workers to bring down the EU and bring in the Socialist United States of Europe. This is the way forward!