Why Socialists should hate Brexit – Ged Killen MP

Right-wing Tories want to see the UK ‘unchained’ from EU regulations designed to safeguard workers rights, writes Ged Killen MP.

A major protest calling for a second EU referendum is planned to be held in London on Saturday (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Our country may be more divided than ever, but if there is one thing uniting people across the country and the political divide, it’s a feeling of Brexit fatigue – of wanting this moment to end.

But even Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU wouldn’t spell the end of the Brexit moment – it is only the beginning of it. If we were to leave the EU next week, we would face a decade of tricky negotiations over the real substance of our future relationship, with the same cast of characters and all the same sticking points.

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Any kind of Brexit means ten more years like the three we’ve just had. That’s another ten years of ruthless cuts to our schools. Ten more years of our NHS being run into the ground, and of Brexit negotiations being driven by an extreme faction of Brexiters in Westminster.

That’s why this Saturday I will be supporting the call for a final say on Brexit.

It should never have come to this, but with little over a week before our scheduled exit date and Parliament still in disarray, the need for a genuine solution to the Brexit crisis has never been greater.

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I don’t share the Tory right’s Brexit dream. Their fantasy is one of Britain “unchained” from the shackles of European regulation, where workers’ rights are thrown on the bonfire with social and environmental protections, and the enactment of policies which would see the country return to record levels of inequality.

Leaving the EU can never be a left-wing project.

Manufacturing jobs have already been cut and with billions being wasted on Brexit preparations, there will soon be nothing left in the bank to restore our chronically underfunded public services.

Right from the start, Scotland has been an afterthought in this Tory Brexit. Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU and is proud of its European heritage. In fact, according to analysis by Best for Britain and HOPE not hate, the chaos we’ve seen since the EU referendum has only strengthened our affinity to Europe, with 7.7 per cent more voters backing remain than they did in 2016.

I am proud that Labour has come out for a final say and, unlike the SNP, our plan puts of the people of the entire UK first rather than being motivated by the opportunity of another independence referendum.

Only the Labour Party offers a credible path forward for the country. Labour can end the Brexit chaos and bring down the Government, to reunite, rebuild and transform Britain.

However, as part of Europe, our party can work towards something even bigger, Labour can and should be leading the fight on the European left for progressive climate policy, a compassionate refugee policy, and a plan to combat and regulate capital.

With right-wing nationalism on the rise and growing distrust in traditional institutions, the EU needs a radical UK Labour Party motivated by social and economic justice to make the case for the many, not the few.

But Labour also needs the EU to help fulfil its own ambitions.

That’s why I’ve joined up with a host of other radical Labour MPs to form Love Socialism Hate Brexit. In doing so, we are taking a stand with Labour members and voters everywhere in the fight against a disastrous Brexit and campaigning for the kind of Labour Government needed to heal our country.

On Saturday, MPs and activists are restating the Labour case for this vision, I urge you to stand with us.

Ged Killen is Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West