Refugees seeking to travel to the UK demonstrate in the centre of Calais. ‘“Fortress Europe” ensures that those outside the EU cartel of nations are subject to vicious discrimination if they are lucky, and drowning in the Mediterranean if they are not.’ Photograph by Sean Smith for the Guardian
The miserable farce of David Cameron’s “renegotiation” of Britain’s membership of the EU has only served to underline the regressive and undemocratic nature of that institution (Report, 16 February). We know from extreme austerity enforced on the people of Greece that the union is not only undemocratic in itself but also anti-democratic in the profound sense that its institutions will not allow the democratically expressed view of the majority of people to stand if it runs counter to the free market project.
The EU is irreversibly committed to privatisation, welfare cuts, low wages and the erosion of trade union rights. This is why the dominant forces of British capitalism and the majority of the political elite are in favour of staying in the EU. The EU is irrevocably committed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and other new trade deals, which represent the greatest transfer of power to capital that we have seen in a generation.
Claims that the free movement of labour within the EU is a barrier to xenophobia are false. But without labour rights and an alternative to austerity, migrants will be prey to hostile xenophobic forces with or without the Schengen agreement. And, even more seriously, “Fortress Europe” ensures that those outside the EU cartel of nations are subject to vicious discrimination if they are lucky, and drowning in the Mediterranean if they are not.
We stand for a positive vision of a future Europe based on democracy, social justice and ecological sustainability, not the profit-making interests of a tiny elite. For these reasons we are committed to pressing for a vote to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum on UK membership.
General secretary, National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
President, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union
Writer and broadcaster
Executive director, War on Want
Prof Mary Davis
TUC women’s gold badge winner
Co-founder, Novara Media
General secretary, Communist party
Writer and anti-war campaigner
National general secretary, Indian Workers Association – GB
Former president, National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Chair, Communist party
International secretary, Communist party
Musician and writer
Former president, European Transport Workers Federation
Past president, National Union of Teachers
Chair, Trades Unionists Against the EU
Former treasurer and national executive member, University & College Lecturers’ Union
Former national executive, National Union of Teachers
Past national president, Association of Teachers and Lecturers
GMB (personal capacity)
Reuban Bard Rosenberg
Manuel Bueno Del Carpio
Unison, Sandwell general branch
National president, Indian Workers Association – GB
Secretary, Association of Indian Communists – GB
Editor, Morning Star
Socialist Labour party Scotland and Chair, Irvine & North Ayrshire TUC