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

Another Europe elections: run to be on our national committee

Nominations are now open for Another Europe's national committee elections for the year of 2021. Read more »


2020: the year in review

2020 was a difficult year for everyone, but we still achieved a lot. Here's our look back on it. Read more »


Conference 2020 - report and final strategy document

A report of our conference and strategy for 2021. Read more »


Don’t back the Tory Brexit deal, activists and MPs tell Starmer

MPs, trade unionists and campaigners unite to call on Labour and other opposition parties not to vote for Boris Johnson's Brexit deal. Read more »


Another Europe's strategy for 2021: open to amendment

Ahead of our annual conference on 12th December, our National Committee has agreed this draft strategy. It is open to amendment by any Another Europe member. 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.