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 alternative

12th 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.

fbu conferenceIn 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.”


More News

Left Bloc on the March for Change

Join us in the streets on July 20th. Read more »


Motion for Labour Party conference 2019

Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour have launched their motion for Labour Party conference 2019. If you are member of the Labour Party, you should submit it now to your CLP. Read more »


New report: Portugal shows that left wing governments can win inside the EU

A new report authored by Hilary Wainwright, a leading left wing academic and writer, has found that Portugal’s socialist government has had major success in delivering a radical anti-austerity manifesto within the EU. Read more »


Activists launch anti-Brexit push towards Labour Party conference

Another Europe is Possible has published a motion for Labour conference 2019, alongside Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour. Read more »


European elections: how should the left vote?

Amelia Womack for the Greens, and Laura Parker and Eloise Todd for Labour, put their case for why the left should vote for them. Read more »


Promoted by Michael Chessum on behalf of Another Europe Is Possible, both at: c/o Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9DY. Privacy policy.