LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday stated that if Theresa May’s ‘Brexit Deal’ with the EU is defeated in parliament next week, then Labour will move a motion of no confidence in the government ‘at a time of our choosing,’ going on to say that the chaos in parliament cannot go on and that the only way out is a general election.
When pressed on what Labour’s Brexit policy will be in any general election all Corbyn could say was that it would be one of negotiating around a customs union and not allowing workers’ rights to fall below EU standards.
Corbyn underlined this when he wound his speech up saying: ‘Finally we are absolutely insistent on at least keeping pace with EU rights at work, environmental standards and consumer protections,’ and promising that a ‘radical Labour government’ would stand up for people against powerful vested interests.
Workers will demand to know how exactly EU rights at work have defended any job or rights and when EU employment legislation has made the slightest difference to the savage austerity attacks on wages and conditions by this Tory government.
Indeed, it is EU laws that were used by the Tories to push through the privatisation of Royal Mail and the railway network when they cited Article 106 of the EU laws which prohibits public monopolies exercising exclusive rights where this violates EU competition rules.
These same rules were used by the Tories to prevent any government money being used to save the UK steelworks from closure. It was the EU that commissioned reports last year on forcing privatisation throughout the EU and which advocated ‘structural reforms’ of the type President Macron in France has been trying to impose on French workers.
These reforms include smashing all their employment rights, withdrawing any legal right to challenge unfair dismissal along with cuts to benefits and wages. These reforms, similar to those which the EU Troika imposed on Greek workers at the behest of the bankers, have resulted in a mass revolutionary uprising in France.
These are the standards that Corbyn holds up as glowing examples of what is good about the EU and why the Labour Party is determined to remain tied to it. The truth is that the EU is nothing more than a bosses’ and bankers’ conspiracy and all this talk of negotiating a new deal that keeps the UK still bound to it through a customs union is just a complete betrayal of the manifesto pledge by Labour at the last general election to honour the binding referendum result and leave.
While Corbyn was waffling on about standing up for workers, the reality is that the working class cannot hang around waiting for him. Yesterday, the two major car companies in Britain announced they are to cut thousands of jobs. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) the country’s biggest carmaker announced 5,000 job losses.
This follows the announcement last year by JLR of 1,000 jobs going at its Solihull factory while 2,000 workers at its plant in Castle Bromwich were put on a three-day week last year. At the same time, Ford announced its intention to overhaul its European operations and stem the dramatic fall in its profits by abandoning loss-making vehicles. 14,000 jobs in the UK are under threat from Ford’s overhaul.
Last year, JLR, owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, booked a £90 million pre-tax loss compared to a £385 million profit the year before. These latest job cuts are symptomatic of the great economic crisis of capitalism, a crash that the capitalist class fully intends to dump on the backs of workers through mass unemployment and even further austerity cuts.
The burning issue is not simply ‘standing up’ to the bosses and bankers but of the working class expropriating them through organising a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers government. A workers government will deal with the closures and job losses by taking over these companies, expropriating the bosses and bankers and bringing in a planned socialist economy and breaking completely with the capitalist EU. Only the WRP fights for this position – join today.