THE TUC leaders have just issued an unprecedented joint statement with the bosses of the CBI, the ETUC and Business Europe ahead of June’s meeting of the European Council to urge an agreement for the UK to remain in the single market and the Customs Union.
These are the same TUC leaders who have stood idly by and watched living standards being slashed for the last 10 years in the UK, and who have witnessed the mass growth of food banks and thousands living on the streets, without lifting a finger in response.
Their joint statement with the EU bosses reads: ‘The UK government and the EU will need to agree on all aspects of regulatory alignment, which is of the utmost importance, without jeopardising the integrity of the single market.’
The TUC is stabbing in the back the millions of workers that voted ‘leave’ less than 24 hours after the EU (Withdrawal) Bill received royal assent and officially became law. In the UK, the RMT, Aslef, the Bakers Union and the TUAEU (Trades Unions Against the EU) remain the only British trade unions to support Brexit. Their position is clear. The position of the other trade unions is crisis-ridden.
The GMB, while opposing Brexit, has issued a statement condemning the CETA trade deal between Canada and the EU on the basis that it amounts ‘to a full frontal attack on parliamentary democracy …’ GMB rightly criticises the government on the grounds that ‘on June 26, the House of Commons will be asked to ratify the 2,255 page Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada without being able to debate its contents or amend any part of it, even though it contains provisions that will potentially affect every man, woman and child in the UK.
‘The deal will also restrict present or future British governments from legislating in the public interest.’ Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, says: ‘Across Europe, there has been massive public opposition to this dreadful treaty but the European Parliament approved it anyway in February 2017.’ (News Line emphasis)
The GMB adds, ‘Moreover, it is effectively a treaty with the USA via the back door as 80% of American corporations have Canadian subsidiaries – this is TTIP through the backdoor.
‘What CETA amounts to is a full frontal attack on parliamentary democracy and any concept of national sovereignty, and makes a complete mockery of the government’s oft-stated objective of “bringing back control”.’
The GMB indicts CETA as ‘the first EU trade agreement to include an investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism that will allow corporations to sue elected governments that restrict their ability to make profits.’
It adds: ‘It will introduce a negative list for service liberalisation that will prevent the UK government from keeping health, education, post or rail services under public control; include “standstill” and “ratchet” clauses that stop countries reversing existing liberalisation commitments … not include any clauses on labour rights … represent a de facto trade agreement with the USA, as over 80% of their corporations have Canadian subsidies.’
The EU is still seeking to impose its dictatorship over the UK and enormously worsen conditions for workers and youth, making nationalisation illegal. Meanwhile, the GMB remains in support of the EU.
Workers in the UK trade unions must rise up to get rid of union leaderships that support the EU despite their condemnation of its actions.
They must be replaced by trade union and TUC leaderships that will see that Brexit is carried out and that the UK goes over to socialism with the nationalisation of the banks and major industries. There is a great need for socialist policies. The EU is not the only wolf at the door. The Bank of America Merryl Lynch have just issued a warning recommending to investors that they slash exposure to risky assets and buy gold before higher interest rates, falling profits, trade wars, eurozone imbalances and a US recession tip markets from boom to bust.
We do not want another 10 years of austerity, economic collapse and even starvation under crisis-ridden capitalism. What the UK requires is a socialist revolution. This is why the present leaders of the trade unions must be replaced by leaders prepared to fight for socialism.