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% Why I oppose the EU, and support a left-led Brexit % Leah Rowe % 1 September 2018

AKA why I'm no longer a member of the British Labour Party (because most of its MPs and members back the EU).

This was originally just going to be a video blog but I felt like writing articles too. This is my first article.

The British news media is notoriously rightwing. Almost all of the mainstream coverage of Brexit, since the vote, has focused on conservative and liberal arguments for and against the EU. It argues basically that Brexit will damage the economy (despite the fact that most of the world's wealthiest economies are neither EU member states nor located in the European continent, and despite the fact that the UK has a long history of economic power prior to joining), or it says that Brexit voters are racist (even though it's quite possible to have sensible, humane immigration policies with or without the EU, and that countries all over the world exercise autonomy in this regard, without any issue... and despite the fact that all of the EU commissioners are white, and only like a handful of MEPs are black... but I digress). Or it just uses a bunch of gaslighting tactics to make rational adults question their own beliefs...

And if that doesn't work, they lie that the EU was established to prevent wars in Europe, after world war II. Asia doesn't have a centralized political union and it is mostly peaceful. Same thing can be said about South America. The same thing could also be said about the Middle East, if EU and USA didn't interfere with it so relentlessly. The EU countries merely don't go to war with each other, while the EU is anything but peace-loving. In fact, huge strides are being made collectively by EU member states to increase their military spending and expand their national armies.

It was the EC (precursor to the EU) and NATO, working alongside the US, that perpetuated the cold war. That whole period in history could have been avoided completely. That whole period in history happened because of imperialist economies wanting to re-assert their influence over the USSR, and to repeal communism. It eventually succeeded. When former soviet countries in Europe later suffered as a result of this, they joined the EU and were then subject to extreme asset-stripping. Most eastern european countries nowadays are completely bankrupt, increasingly privatized and their skills/resources are drained by western capitalists seeking cheap labour, whereby citizens in these countries are encouraged to immigrate to western europe for better jobs, instead of staying and working collectively to improve their own countries.

The truth is, it's quite possible to have a progressive, socialist, outward-looking society that embraces multiculturalism and invests in the betterment of its people, without that society ever needing to step one foot inside the EU.

Iceland, Norway and Switzerland do very well for themselves, and they are not EU member states. Japan is the largest exporter of robotics technology in the world, and computing technology in general (besides China). Cuba is piss poor and has sanctions up every orifice of its being, and yet its people are highly educated with some of the best healthcare and living standards anywhere in the world.... and it's not even located in Europe, it is in fact south of Florida in the United States.

I'm quite lazy so I'll just summarize somewhat and give you a few videos and articles to watch/read:

  • EU is anti-democratic. The key positions of the EU commissioners, ECB and so on are appointed, not elected.
  • EU has countless regulations/directives that block socialist policies/movements. The most well-known one is the Single Market, which literally does not permit EU member states to control capital and investment in their economies, whilst encouraging free market capitalism and mass privatisation. Bringing companies/services/industries into public ownership is very difficult in EU member states, because of the Single Market.
  • The customs union means that EU member states have to impose VAT on their citizens. VAT is a regressive tax that has an unfair, disproportionate burden upon the poorest members of society.
  • So-called freedom of movement doesn't allow the average citizen to freely move. A succession of rightwing policies both EU-wide and imposed by national governments have eradicated the middle class in Europe, to the point where most people cannot afford to travel or even engage in local recreation. Freedom of movement allows unscrupulous employers to bring in cheap foreign labour, undercutting local wages and watering down workers rights. So-called posted workers are often given priority over local citizens in EU member states, most notably in the western countries (UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, etc) to the benefit of the employer, who wishes to cut costs as much as possible.
  • EU common fisheries policy has completely destroyed the UK's fishing industries.
  • Further free movement of capital/goods/services rules (single market) not only allow, but encourage jobs, industries and services to outsource to foreign countries, which reduces employment opportunities.
  • In general, the EU is extremely right-wing. Most of its leaders (especially in the commission) are conservative or liberals. Countless transnational corporations are parked permanently outside EU institutions for lobbying in favour of laws that work against our interests. Examples: Article 13 (internet censorship), SOPA (was defeated only through ruthless public campaigning, but later essentially replaced by Article 13), TTIP (the only reason it stopped was because Hillary Clinton lost in the US GE2016.
  • EU parliament has zero powers. Their MEPs are barely accountable to their electorate.
  • It is extremely unclear for citizens (all over Europe) as to how laws can be challenged.
  • ...I could go on
  • EU is racist institutionally. Immigration laws are biased in favour of Europeans (read: white people).
  • National governments are powerless to resist EU laws. The commission can impose whatever legislation they like and national governments have to eat it up.
  • In general, the EU favours further centralization and consolidation of power. Historically and contemporally speaking, this has always lead to weaker democracy, less rights and more corruption. Afterall, a centralized body is much easier to influence. Large governments are large precisely because they want to impose themselves on every aspect of your life. The EU is increasingly becoming its own nation state. Member states have no freedoms whatsoever. The EU is a capitalist dictatorship ruled by private capital.
  • As an EU member, we are isolated from the rest of the world. We can't do trade deals with other countries. As a non-member, free from the EU's neoliberal straight jacket, we could do deals with third world countries, helping them develop and grow (and helping ourselves in the process). The EU's trade policies with third world countries are terrible, and in some cases completely corrupt.
  • The EU hates smokers. Nicotine vapour can now only contain 1.8 percent nicotine. Previously, much higher concentrations were possible. Nicotine is awesome. Smoking it not cool, but vaping is. It makes you feel good, and as far as we know there are no health problems with it. The EU is not only anti-socialist, it is anti-fun.

It is the responsibility of all socialists, communists or otherwise left-leaning people in society to campaign rigorously in favour of a progressive exit from the EU.

Other countries in Europe should also leave.

I might edit and refine this article later. I just wrote it quickly on this saturday morning out of boredom.