Brexit: The Lefts Case for Exiting the EU - Éamonn Ó Cléirigh

Since the inception of the European Union and Ireland's membership of it, Socialist Republicans have always been in opposition to the neo-colonial super institution.

Several years ago I actively campaigned, along with many other Socialist Republicans from across the country, for a Leave vote in the referendum. We didn’t do so because we agreed with the analysis of the Right, the Tories, Unionists etc. but because the Republican Left always had its own analysis and reasoning to stand in opposition to the EU.

In the immediate aftermath of the referenda the scaremongering from constitutional Nationalists began and the Socialist Republican critique was suppressed, demonised and in many respects it just disappeared, allowing the constitutional Nationalists to run with their narrative for the most part. This has resulted in the felon setting of those who have took the republican left position in support of EU withdrawal and occasionally the erection of posters with buzzwords of little substance such as ‘NO BORDER – NO BREXIT’, ‘PROTECT THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT’, and ‘BREXIT HARD BORDER – BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE TORIES, DUP, UUP, PBP’.

European imperialism in Ireland is an impediment to the creation of the 32-county Democratic Workers Republic that we struggle for. A state within which all of the nations’ resources are applied for the betterment of all its people. European economic and fiscal imperialism must cease as part of the creation of a new Republic. Therefore the right of the Irish people to defend itself from economic and geographic exploitation is fundamental. 

The European Union holds an economic grip on Ireland and its resources. Our economic sovereignty is paramount, and equally so should be our actions in wrestling the reins of power from E.U bureaucrats and cementing it within working class communities and national industries. Currently three-quarters of fish caught in Irish waters are taken by non-Irish fishing boats. Let us reclaim our waters from the multinational super trawlers and allow our own fishing communities to flourish. Astonishingly, 100% of our lead, silver, zinc and copper resources are outside of Irish hands, with all of them being shipped across Europe to be refined. Ireland could instead use its own natural resources to build industries manufacturing jewellery, solar panels and electronics.

I campaigned for a Leave vote in the referenda because I believe that a better world is possible and we, the Irish working class, deserve better. The E.U is an increasingly militarised institution that puts the interest of big business over that of its people. It is no longer merely suspect that the E.U intends to build a super-state army, with both Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron openly calling for its creation. CEO’s of major arms companies such as BAE Systems dominate the advisory boards to the European Commission regarding ‘Defence Research’, and gain fortunes in military contracts alongside private security forces utilised for border security.  

British occupation and E.U membership rob us of our national self-determination, sovereignty, and the fundamental right to decide upon our own futures. 

This is not anti-Europe, but anti E.U! 

The E.U project has failed the working masses with forced fiscal policies, poverty and austerity. The greatest achievement of the E.U project has been the opening of borders and the integration of European peoples but we don’t need the E.U for this. Fortress Europe only has open immigration for its own people while it allows migrants to drown in the Mediterranean Sea trying to seek refuge in Europe. A free Ireland should welcome with open arms all of the world's peoples.

The scaremongering of the constitutional Nationalists does nothing but spread discontent within the wider republican base and their lies only serve as a distraction to fuel the fire. Those who would point out the strange bedfellows of anti-imperialists on the Brexit front should look at their own right wing associates within ‘progressive Europe’.

No Brexit doesn’t mean no border. The ongoing British occupation and partition created the border, not the EU, and with or without a hard border the core issue remains, the partition of our country and British occupation.

Withdrawal from the EU won’t solve Ireland’s ills and a Tory Brexit will not do the working class any favours either, but it is important to understand why the Republican Left is in opposition to the EU, which is for polar opposite reasons of that of the Right and other Brexit campaigners.

What kind of Europe do you want, a People's Europe or Big Businesses Europe?

Poblacht na nOibrithe abú.

Carried in Issue 3 of An Spréach Magazine, Jan - Mar 2019