Fire Brigades Union conference says, ‘Stay in Europe to change Europe’
National conference agrees to support campaign for Britain to remain a member of the European Union. But brilliant speech from General Secretary Matt Wrack rejects status quo Europe and calls for alternative12th May 2016
Delegates at FBU conference debated EU membership at length both in a fringe meeting on Wednesday and in a plenary debate today, but ultimately decided by some margin to remain and campaign for change with trade unionists across Europe.
Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary, gave a fiery speech, critical of the current EU but strongly in favour of staying in to defend workers’ rights and change the union from within.
In particular, Wrack passionately defended the free movement of workers, saying that problems such as unemployment and housing crisis were caused by banks and the failure of markets, and not by migrants.
Kieron Merrett, trade union officer for Another Europe Is Possible , who spoke at a conference fringe meeting the evening before the vote, said:
“It’s terrific to see one of Britain’s best organised trade unions back the workers’ case for ‘In’ with an explicit ‘stay in Europe to change Europe’ line. It was an excellent debate that we were delighted to participate in. But the message must now go out, not only to every firefighter, but also every trade unionist in the UK. There is only one way to vote in this referendum to defend the vital interests of working people. That’s to vote to remain inside the European Union.”
General Election 2019: the fight of our lives
This is the most important general election in our lifetimes. Read more »
A general election is coming
Get ready for a massive campaign against the Tories and Brexit Read more »
December 14: Another Europe conference 2019
Register now for our democratic members conference. Read more »
March with us: demand a public vote on Brexit
On October 19th, we need a huge show of strength. March with us to demand a public vote. Read more »
Remain, Reform, Revolt - reports from our meetings so far
We have been touring the country with a series of activist meetings. Get in touch to organise one in your area. Read more »