THE MAY government on Tuesday defeated an attempt by 12 pro-EU Conservative MPs, supported by Labour EU Remainers, to destroy its revised post-Brexit trade policy by seeking to establish that the UK would join the EU Customs Union if it is unable to agree a Free Trade Deal with the EU. If passed this would have been a complete surrender to the EU – encouraging it to say ‘No Deal’.
However, the government won by 307 to 301, with four Labour MPs voting with the government.
Ahead of the vote, Tory MPs were told a defeat would lead to a vote of no confidence in the government and a general election. Nevertheless, the 12 Tory ‘rebels’ were prepared to risk a general election and a Corbyn government as the price for remaining in the EU, now that Labour backs a Customs Union with the EU, and with it a Single Market if there is no free trade deal.
The struggle will now be escalated. The EU will reject parliament’s latest position with a ‘No Deal’, and then the panic and hysteria will erupt, that there must be a second referendum to remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union. Under this pressure, the existing political parties will break open and shatter.
However, the big issue is the force that has brought them unwillingly to this state of affairs, which came out of the blue after Cameron and the House of Commons called the referendum and handed over authority to the people. This force, of the working class and the middle class, persists and has become stronger.
This is why May could not get away with her surrender Chequers White Paper, and after just a week and a number of resignations, had to adopt the four wrecking amendments of the Rees-Mogg group, driving Tories like Anna Soubry, and their Labourite allies into a state of hysteria. What the latest parliamentary voting shows is that the feeling is so strong in the UK, in the working class and the middle class, to quit the EU, that all the King’s horses and all the King’s men cannot stop it. Humpty Dumpty can’t be returned to pre-referendum days.
When it came to the Morgan-Hammond amendment on the Customs Union, 12 Tory MPs were prepared to vote with the Labour EU ‘Loyalist’ bloc, to bring down the government if necessary, to remain in the Customs Union and the EU. In fact, it was the vote of four Labour MPs, whose constituents support Brexit that maintained the Referendum result on the road.
During the debate on the Trade Bill, a minister tried to persuade Hammond and his supporters to back down, promising to deal with the ‘essence’ of their concerns when the bill goes to the House of Lords. This was rejected by Hammond and Morgan. The government won the vote and the bill was later approved by the House of Commons.
The scene is now set for the economic and political crisis to sharpen and erupt with greater force when the EU rejects May’s amended plan and the campaign builds up for a second referendum, no doubt accompanied by hysteria, assisted by a number of business collapses organised by the bosses and bankers. It will be economic sabotage to try to convince the masses that Brexit will mean even more poverty than there is today, and to bring them to their senses.
In this crisis situation, the working class will be driven to take mass revolutionary actions to expropriate the bosses and the bankers and to install a workers government. This will deal with any economic catastrophe organised by the bosses and bankers through a policy of the expropriation of the bosses and the bankers and the bringing in of a socialist planned economy to deal with every aspect of the crisis.
The working class taking power in the UK and bringing in a socialist planned economy to defend and develop the NHS, resolve the housing crisis, by taking over all empty properties and building millions of council homes, and putting an end to the austerity regime will win the support of the workers of Europe and lead to workers in the EU taking action to abolish the European Union and bring in a Socialist United States of Europe.
Similarly, the struggle of the workers will lead US workers to actively oppose Trump’s drive to try and make America great again at the expense of the workers of the world, in favour of expropriating the US bosses and bringing in a socialist United States. Only the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Young Socialists are fighting for this revolutionary perspective. Join today!