Stay in Europe to fight the hard right

Brexit is UKIP’s dream

There is only one political force that stands to gain from Britain leaving the EU: the xenophobic right who brought about the referendum in the first place. We are only having this referendum on 23 June because the government was forced into it as a concession to these anti-immigrant demagogues.

And who are these right-wingers? There’s UKIP, a xenophobic, nationalist party whose leader Nigel Farage calls the referendum his “once in a lifetime opportunity”. On the other hand many people in today’s Conservative Party share Farage’s worldview, with over 100 Tory MPs backing Brexit. UKIP and the Brexit Tories use nationalism to cover up for their Thatcherite view of economics that supports permanent austerity and threatens the NHS.

It’s not just in Britain either: others hoping for Brexit include the Front National’s Marine Le Pen and far right parties across Europe. Donald Trump supports an Out vote too.

The day after the referendum, they will either be triumphant or dejected. We want to see their racist politics defeated.

Illustration: Cressida Knapp

There is no ‘left exit’

Left wing Out campaigners say that getting out of the EU opens the possibility of progressive change in Britain. Clearly an exit vote would throw the British establishment into chaos. That doesn’t at all mean, however, that the left would gain.

The most immediate consequence of voting Out would be to let the Tories off the leash. Tory minister and exit supporter Michael Gove complains that “the EU is a constraint on ministers’ ability to do the things they were elected to do” – in other words, EU law has held the Tories back from some of the attacks they wanted to make.

The day after exit, we will still have a Tory government – and one that may move further right under a new leader, implementing the Thatcherite policies that make up the Brexiteers’ blueprint. Tory minister and Leave supporter Priti Patel has said she wants to “halve the burdens of the EU social and employment legislation” – in other words, scrap half the workers’ rights we get from the EU.

An emboldened right wing would set about attacking migrants’ rights, making new trade deals far worse than TTIP and cutting wages as part of a global race to the bottom.

What’s on offer is not a left exit – it’s a Tory and UKIP exit.

Ditch the elites too

Our opposition to the nationalist right does not mean that we support the big business elites who are broadly in favour of Britain’s EU membership.

Ours is an independent campaign, supporting staying in the EU for our own, progressive reasons. We are not part of the establishment-run official In campaign.

Our campaign is called Another Europe is Possible because we don’t just want to stay in Europe – we want to change it.