Why socialists must vote NO!
EUROSCEPTICISM IS OFTEN SEEN AS RIGHT WING AND POPULIST. But there is a strong left wing, progressive and democratic argument against the European Union (EU) which is why the coming referendum on the UK’s membership is so important. It’s an opportunity to take back into the sphere of accountability the vast swathes of governance currently residing in Brussels. It’s an opportunity to make the case for democracy and a chance to counter the secretive and oligarchical trends of contemporary EU politics.
Following the remarkable rise of Jeremy Corbyn, research from YouGov UK has shown strong public support for the nationalisation of various sectors – the most popular being the railways. The EU which craves power and control will always get in the way of any renationalisation planned by a national government.
The First Railway Directive, coming into effect in 2012, was thefirst attack on the government’s ability to ever regain control of our own railways. The Directive allows private companies to buy access to the railway tracks of any Member State. This means multiple train operating companies are allowed to buy the use of the same tracks competitively – making it impossible for a government-run railway line ever to exist.
The implementation and effect of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on the UK’s population will be considerable. It could affect everything from your income to the food you eat. For example, pesticide manufacturers could sue for loss of profits when their environmentally dangerous products are banned, or companies could sue if the minimum wage were increased. Legislation made in the public interest, such as health and safety laws, environmental protection, workers’ rights and consumer rights could all attract law suits, and the taxpayer would pay the bill.
There are examples from similar bilateral trade agreements around the world. The North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico caused the loss of one million US jobs over twelve years, instead of the hundreds of thousands of extra jobs that were promised.
Legally binding agreements that are arranged in secret, which mean that our governments can be held to account for corporate loss of profit in secret courts, circumvent the will of the people. The powers we are handing over will affect everything and everyone.
In order to sort out our own global trade agreements, be in control of our own railways again, and be able to decide our own laws, we must vote No in the coming EU referendum.