THE crisis of British capitalism deepened yesterday with Chancellor Osborne warning the EU ‘We can’t go on like this’, while the Ford motor company warned the UK government that if it quits the EU it will re-assess its UK presence.
Nissan has already made the same point, while Lord Jones of Birmingham – who as Digby Jones was director general of the CBI – has countered that Britain must be ready to leave the EU to boost its competitiveness in the open market.
It is clear that Osborne’s threat is not just fake sabre rattling to appease the large Tory right-wing and neutralise UKIP. The message is adopt – our policies throughout the EU or we will quit.
Osborne declared yesterday: ‘In Britain it has always felt like there have been two debates about the EU. One debate is about sovereignty, democracy and accountability. A second debate has been about the economics. But there aren’t two debates. This is one debate.
‘Getting the economics right is not sufficient to persuade people of the merits of the EU. Other constitutional change is needed. But getting the economics right is absolutely necessary.’
Talking about forthcoming negotiations, Osborne continued: ‘We need two things. First we need economic reform that enables the EU to create jobs and economic security, and compete in the global race – something it is not doing well at the moment.
‘And second as the Eurozone undertakes the integration required to make the euro work, we need constitutional reforms to make sure that those countries which are not in the euro can remain in the EU, confident that their interests and rights will be protected.’ He wants a UK veto!
He continued: ‘We knew there was a competitiveness problem in Europe before the crisis. But the crisis has dramatically accelerated the shifts in the tectonic economic plates that see power moving eastwards and southwards on our planet.
‘Over the last six years, the European economy has stalled. In the same period, the Indian economy has grown by more than a third. The Chinese economy by nearly 70 per cent. Over the next 15 years Europe’s share of global output is forecast to halve.
‘Make no mistake, our continent is falling behind.’
Osborne zeros in on the basic ‘problem’ for the UK bosses: ‘As Angela Merkel has pointed out, Europe accounts for just over 7 per cent of the world’s population, 25 per cent of its economy, and 50 per cent of global social welfare spending.
‘We can’t go on like this. . . As a father of two young children, I don’t want to turn to them as we see the latest Chinese scientific breakthrough or Indian innovation and say: “that used to be us. That used to be Europe”.’
He adds ‘The hard truth is that if we want to maintain our way of life in Europe we’ve got to get more competitive. And that’s going to require some tough steps: living within our means, making our labour markets competitive, expanding free trade.’
Osborne wants all out war on the working class and the complete elimination of Welfare States throughout the EU to make it one vast slave labour state. He continues: ‘That’s why we’re working through a long term economic plan that makes the tough choices necessary for our long term prosperity . . .
‘We all have to put our own house in order. And there’s still a huge amount more we all have to do, including here in Britain.
‘But Europe’s competitiveness also requires action at the European level.’
‘Now there are those who throw their hands up and say “we can’t reform Europe, it can’t be done, it’s all too hard”, I say “we’ve already proved you wrong”.
Osborne is putting forward the UK as the leader of an EU counter-revolution against all the gains of the the working class. His position is give us this or we quit!
UK workers and workers throughout the EU must reject and fight all of the attacks that are taking place in the EU on the working class. There is only one way forward for the UK working class. It must bring down the Cameron, Osborne government and bring in a workers government and socialism to begin the European socialist revolution that will replace the EU with the Socialist United States of Europe.