(This article was first published in August 2016 in the previous version of People’s Review. Due to an incident of hacking the old website was pulled down and we could only restore the old articles in this section)
Brexit finally happened, at least in the ballots. More than 51 per cent voters of Britain’s plebiscite on its European Union membership referendum voted a nay, a slightly higher tally than the 48 per cent people who said aye.
The British ruling class was divided on the issue as one part of the Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson strongly advocated an exit, the other faction led by the Prime Minister David Cameron, called for maintenance of the status quo. The opposition Labour Party led by the pseudo socialist Jeremy Corbyn strongly pitched for remain, citing things like working class interests, and a phoney internationalism as excuses to stay in the EU. The Labour lost its young MP, Jo Cox, to the bullets of a white Briton supremacist, who is suspected to be a supporter of the UKIP, a far-right fascist organisation of the kingdom led by Nigel Farage. In this referendum, Farage strongly pitched for Leave by inciting xenophobia among the white people.
Despite the tall talks of Britain’s benefits in staying with the EU and despite the British Labour Party’s pitching for working class unity, the only way the British working class and toiling people could have saved their own interests was by voting for an exit from the EU, which is a block of imperialist nations created to pool in European capital and labour for greater use by handful of big monopoly capital owned corporations. The EU was never an organisation of unity or equality among nations of Europe, rather it has remained a draconian collaboration platform for the European giants, aided by the US and Japan, to exploit the labour and resources of the weaker European countries.
In the recent years large-scale migration of people from Eastern and Central European countries to Britain, thanks to the immense crisis of capitalism, has enabled the British firms to significantly lower the wages of the working class, which in turn also created large scale unemployment in Britain and the situation was capitalised by the far right fascist forces to kindle the prairie flames of xenophobia and racial supremacy among the British working class.
The membership of the European Union also helped the British monopoly capital to access the market of the economically weaker European countries, exploit the natural resources and cheap labour of those countries, especially in the Balkan region and to carry on acquisition and merger drives with ease. British capital travelled with ease throughout Europe along with its American, German, and French partners. However, the internal strife among the various factions of monopoly and finance capital giants fuelled antagonism between a section of the British ruling class and the ruling class of Germany and France.
The EU is a part of the Troika along with the European Central Bank and IMF that is oppressing the economically distressed countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal. The British capital and the European capital displayed their undaunted unity in exploiting the continent and in strengthening the military alliance against the people of Asia-Africa and South America. Their differences, however, emerged with the cancerous crisis that has affected the entire capitalist system globally. As a system, the EU is not able to keep its house intact while facing a strong current of economic crisis. A section of the British capitalists found that membership of the EU is a very loss making venture at present in comparison to what it was four decades back. The crisis of capitalism, the rising tides of working class rebellion in different parts of Europe has made the British ruling classes quite wary about their fortune in the EU.
Analysing the pros and cons of the Brexit poll, from a working class perspective, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) leadership said in a press statement :
“It is our view that a Brexit would be a serious defeat for the not only the British, but also the European and US ruling classes, and that therefore a vote for Brexit is a vote for true, proletarian internationalism. The tactic of using xenophobia to divide workers, which in general works so well for our ruling class, looks like it might for once turn back to bite them. If that happens, our exploiters will be weakened and our own opportunities for resistance will be multiplied.
The EU was conceived as a ‘United States of Europe’ to save the skin of European imperialism from the very real threat of socialist revolution. As partner in crime to the US in the neo-nazi Nato alliance, the EU’s main role has been to preserve the economic domination of imperialism and to perpetuate the enslavement of the world’s people to monopoly capital.
While leaving the EU will not end capitalism in Britain, or destroy the British imperialist class, it will weaken our rulers and help to bring the final goal — of a world in which no man exploits another, and no nation exploits another — one step closer.”
The statement reflects the class position of the working class of Britain as well as in Europe and despite the Brexit allowing a moral booster for the racist brigade, it will be beneficial for the workers in the long run. The EU exit may not go well with the major section of the ruling establishment, who will try to reverse the mandate and try to strengthen the collapsing vestige of European imperialism.
The British ruling classes, as well as the global tycoons of monopoly and finance capital, anticipated a major mandate in favour of Remain in the Brexit polls. The result of the referendum is a big setback for the global monopoly and finance capital, which suffered badly at every stock exchange in this world after the Brexit results were announced. Though a section of British capitalists represented by the likes of Johnson, Farage, and others were happy after the poll results came out, though the result was interpreted by the corporate media as a victory of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism over multicultural and multi-ethnic Britain, it is evident that this result has actually caused a lot of displeasure to the ruling classes and can simply be read as the mandate of the working class, the pensioners, the unemployed, and the toiling Britons against the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the Conservative Party in the garb of austerity measures. The liquidation of the minimal social security benefits that the British working class won through hard struggles are not going to go unopposed, this is what the Brexit poll verdict says.