SCOTTISH fishermen and their colleagues throughout the UK are up in arms over the surrender of the May government to the EU bureaucrats. Davis and May have agreed that the EU will retain full control over the UK’s fishing waters from Brexit day, on 29 March 2019 when the UK leaves the EU, until the end of the ‘transitional period’ in December 2020.
The Scottish Tory revival, on the strength of the votes of workers like the fishermen who saw their industry being destroyed by the EU, has now turned into its opposite, with the Tory government being cursed for its treachery.
Scotland’s Tory MPs met May yesterday to condemn her capitulation to the EU, and to tell her that the 13 Scottish Tory MPs will bring down her government if the final agreement does not restore the UK’s full rights over its coastal waters. They also told her that her treacherous fisheries deal with the EU has put an end to the Tory ‘revival’ in Scotland.
The fishermen are, in fact, preparing to go much further than these MPs. They have vowed to launch a national campaign, along with other workers, to see to it that the 2016 referendum result is carried out in full. They fear that their industry will be destroyed in the ‘interim period’ if they do not do so.
Today, in a feeble attempt to appease the anger of the fishermen, leader of the Tory Brexiteers, Rees-Mogg, along with supporters, will throw fish into the Thames from a boat opposite Parliament. However, the fishermen and their supporters are determined to go much further than this anaemic gesture. They know that to drive through Brexit, the working class must be mobilised nationally for mass actions, including a general strike, to bring down May and to bring in a workers’ government that will be prepared to break with the EU at once!
The truth is that the majority of Tory leaders were ‘Remainers’ before the referendum. Their leader May was selected, not elected, to be the Tory Party leader and since then has even refused to state that she has changed her mind over her anti-Brexit referendum vote.
She was selected by the Tory 1922 Committee to make the best of a bad job, and to dilute Brexit as much as possible to limit the damage that it would do to the big banks and the major capitalists, until the policy could be dumped and ‘normal business’ resumed via a House of Commons vote to reject Brexit and remain in the EU! May has more than justified the faith that was put in her by the 1922 Committee and has now negotiated a deal that is riddled with impossible compromises, and is heading for the rocks.
On Monday, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the legal text of the agreement for the interim period, the 21 months after Brexit on 29 March 2019, marked a ‘decisive step’ but added that it was ‘not the end of the road’. The UK will still share its fishing waters during transition, and will effectively remain part of the Common Fisheries Policy until the end of 2020. Fishermen fear that then the policy will be permanently extended. Among the other major issues yet to be agreed include what happens to the Northern Ireland border.
Both sides agree that they do not want a hard border on the island of Ireland. Both the EU and the UK have agreed that there will be a ‘backstop’ option if no agreement is reached. This would mean Northern Ireland staying in the Single Market and the Customs Union – with other parts of the UK demanding the same rights no doubt. Then a ‘Remain’ dominated House of Commons will move to end the chaos by rescinding the 2016 referendum result and deciding that the UK will remain in the EU. This is the scenario that is emerging. UK workers must now take action on this very important issue and make sure that the 2016 referendum is carried out.
This means organising a general strike to bring down the Tory regime and then bring in a workers’ government that will immediately break with the EU, expropriate the UK bosses and bankers, and then make a call to the workers of Europe to bring down the EU and bring in a Socialist United States of Europe that the UK working class will be proud to be a part of!