People's News - No. 148 12 June 2016 Issue -covering Brexit and TTIP
The People's Newsletter from the People's Movement in their bi-monthly newsletter carry an article on Brexit which is topical given that the British go to the polls on it this Thurs 23rd June. The various opinion polls show it to be relatively close.
The article here from the People's Movement puts forward good Left wing arguments why Britain should leave and they are good reasons for Ireland to leave too. The impression given is that the Brexit referendum was agreed to because of political pressure from the people. It is likely though that there are considerable powerful interests within the elite want to leave as they see their chances to be better off in the long run, yet those arguments not discussed here would be more issues within national capitalist faction.
The other article in this months newsletter is
PEOPLE’S NEWS - News Digest of the People’s Movement
Why a vote for Brexit is a progressive act
The People’s Movement is urging Irish people in Britain and Northern Ireland to vote “leave” in the referendum on 23 June. Here is a link to the case for a vote to leave the European Union: Exit 6: Northern Ireland, Democracy, and the EU Referendum outlines the Brexit case from the democratic and internationalist viewpoint that is central to the People’s Movement’s opposition to the EU.
The European Union now has its own government, with a legislative, executive and judicial arm, its own political president, its own citizens and citizenship, its own human and civilrights code, its own currency, economic policy and revenue, its own international treaty - making powers, foreign policy, foreign minister, diplomatic corps and United Nations voice, its own crime and justice code and Public Prosecutor’s office. It already possesses such state symbols as its own flag, anthem, motto, and annual “Europe Day.”
The constitution of the EU — the Treaty of Rome and its amending treaties — is in reality the first state or quasi-state constitution in modern history to be drawn up without the slightest democratic element, entirely in the interests of transnational Big Business.
The EU process is for shifting a myriad of government functions from the national level, where they have traditionally been under the control of democratically elected parliaments and governments, to the supranational, where the bureaucrats of the EU Commission have the monopoly of legislative initiative and where technocracy rules. It gives explicit primacy to EU law over national law.
In most years nowadays arguably the majority of laws that are put through the national parliaments of the EU member states come from Brussels, although most people do not realise this.
Most cases before the EU Court of Justice are concerned with enforcing the EU’s foundational “four freedoms”: free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour. These erect the basic principles of classical laissez - faire into constitutional imperatives. No government or elected parliament may legally violate or change them, regard less of the wishes of their voters.
Any move entailing changes to the EU treaties requires the unanimous agreement of the governments of all twenty eight EU member states. Any changes to the other rules require either unanimity or a qualified majority. This is the practical problem facing those who contend that “another Europe is possible” by reforming the EU at the supranational level in the hope of making it more democratic, or who think that the EU can be transformed into a so-called “Social Europe.”
Successive EU treaties have also laid down a deeply right - wing economic agenda. This has resulted in the interests of the banks and big corporations being put before those of the people. The most glaring examples of this have happened in the Republic and in Greece.
Thinking strategically about TTIP and CETA
There is widespread opposition throughout the EU and the United States to TTIP and CETA. Both trade agreements could open the way for business corporations based in the EU to take legal action against entire states whose national regulations on health, labour or environmental standards are regarded as “barriers” to trade, or affect corporate profitability, and would amount to a takeover of fundamental powers of government by representatives of corporate capital, operating, in the European context, in conjunction with the EU bureaucracy.
For the remainder of the text on this see the PDF below...
A PDF copy of the People's Movements newsletter is available at the link below.
From No. 146 8th May 2016 Issue http://www.people.ie/news/PN-148.pdf
The UK referendum on 23 June:
Why you should vote to leave the EU
The European Union now represents the biggest threat to workers’ rights, public services, and the right of nations, including the Irish nation, to have control over their own affairs.
It is no longer an area of economic cooperation but an emerging superstate, where people’s interests and welfare are subordinated, by law, to those of the market and big business.
A British withdrawal would force a re-evaluation of all existing EU treaties and would encourage the growing Europe-wide popular opposition to the denial of national democracy and independence that is at the heart of the EU.
EU in disarray
The EU is an inward-looking shrinking market, mired in recession, with a dysfunctional currency and high unemployment. The Greek and refugee crises have exposed the “solidarity” on which the EU is supposedly based.
But EU rules, laid down by various treaties, mean that the EU cannot be reformed from within, because just one state, such as Germany, can veto reform.
How does membership of the EU threaten the NHS?
Continuing EU membership means that two transatlantic treaties, TTIP and CETA, being negotiated in secret by the EU, would allow the privatisation of the NHS. Privatisation would then be impossible to reverse.
TTIP and CETA would also enable companies to sue governments where policy measures might harm profits.
A British withdrawal from the EU would create a major obstacle to the adoption of TTIP and CETA.
But will a British withdrawal re-establish a border between North and South?
No. Both right and left in Britain recognise the importance of trade between Ireland and Britain, and no-one wants to obstruct that.
Equally, the existing Common Travel Area predates either country joining the EU, and will survive British withdrawal, just as Norway, a non-EU country, has kept its common travel area with Sweden and Denmark, which are in the EU.
Will we lose EU funding?
Inside or outside the EU, the North’s funding has been under threat by the Tory government; but Britain itself gives more money to Europe than Europe sends back, so the money the North gets from the EU will still be available in the event of withdrawal.
Regional Grants, Structural Funds, Farm Payments and “Peace Process” funding are in fact taxpayers’ money that is just recycled through Brussels.
The European Convention on Human Rights and its human rights court at Strasbourg — not the EU — guarantee our human rights. Voting “Leave” will not affect existing human rights protections.
Only a tenth of the of the British economy is involved in trade with the EU. A country does not have to be a member of the EU to trade with it; so trade with the EU and with the world outside it will continue in the event of a “Leave” vote.
• Remain tied to a failing experiment in building a European superstate run by non-elected Brussels bureaucrats; or
• Have confidence in your own democratic achievements and assert the right of peoples to decide their own laws and international policies as the only basis on which to build a truly progressive society in Ireland.