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

Let Us Vote

Together with the3million and British in Europe, we have launched a campaign to allow all UK residents, and all UK citizens living abroad, to vote in general elections and referendums. Read more »


Huge pressure on Corbyn not to cut deal with May without public vote

Pressure is growing on Jeremy Corbyn not to sign up to any deal with Theresa May unless it is accompanied by a public vote.  Read more »


New Labour motion: Stop Brexit – transform Britain and Europe

A new motion for local Labour parties, released in early April 2019. Read more »


Now is the time: step up the fight against Brexit

We are living through a profound political crisis.  Everything is at stake, but we can win. Read more »


Brexit, Farce, and the Lexit Left

In this discussion article, Neil Faulkner argues that Brexit is the British expression of the wave of nationalism, racism, and fascism sweeping the world – and Lexit is on the wrong side of history. 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.