This strategy was adopted by Another Europe’s members’ conference, which was held on December 14th 2019.
ANOTHER EUROPE IS POSSIBLE
- If the Conservatives get a majority, we will fight them from day one – in the streets, in parliament and using all democratic means at our disposal. If they do win, they will do so with a minority of the popular vote, and we will point this out relentlessly. A solid majority would make a 31st January exit from the EU likely, but this will only be the beginning of a much deeper process – of trade deals, erosions to rights and freedoms, and a further slide to the nationalist right.
- Our opposition to Brexit goes further than simply opposing the success of the nationalist right. We have not changed our minds about the need for international institutions and movements to take action on climate change, economic justice and human rights – and about membership of the EU providing the best existing terrain for this, for all the flaws of the institutions themselves.
- We therefore support in principle the United Kingdom’s re-entry into the EU, and will campaign for progressive parties to adopt this position. Logistically, this would be easiest if the Tory government could be brought down before the end of the transition period at the end of 2020, after which we are likely to diverge much more in regulatory terms.
- While there might yet be an organic surge of support for re-entry, especially if Brexit goes badly in economic terms, we recognise that it may not be an immediate or obvious priority for many of the people we will eventually need to convince. In the aftermath of defeat in 2016, we took the same view on a second referendum when the demand seemed impossible; by December 2019 it had achieved consensus support across the left and centre of politics.
- Whether or not re-entry gains a critical mass of support, Another Europe has a vital role to play in what is to come.
- On a level of immediate policy-making, we will continue to fight for democracy and accountability in the trade negotiations; against the rise of the far right; and for Britain to maintain and expand the rights, protections and standards previously guaranteed by EU law.
- On a deeper level, we will continue our work in cohering the internationalist left in Britain. We stand for solidarity between people and across borders, and we will seek to use this moment of defeat as a wake up call, a means of uniting the left behind a politics which unequically opposes borders, climate change and right wing nationalism. We will proactively build alliances and links between the British left and the left across the EU.
- We will reach out to the international anti-austerity Left and work more closely with key allies such as Party of European Socialists, International Union of Socialist Youth, the European Left, European Greens, Progressive Caucus in the European Parliament, Labour International, Momentum International, social partners and civil society organisations such as European Anti-Poverty Network, EUTUC and SOLIDAR.
- We will work closely with these natural allies to strengthen existing links and build new networks for a dynamic longer term campaign which recognises the mutual benefits for the wider Left across Europe for the UK to seek re-entry.
- The scale of the defensive battle now facing us is hard to overstate. We face perhaps the most right wing government in Britain’s modern history, allied to Donald Trump’s America and actively courting and co-opting the far right. We cannot take anything for granted – basic human rights will be in the crosshairs.
- The areas which we will seek to campaign around will include:
- Migrants’ rights: unequivocal support for defending and extending free movement; equal voting rights; and transforming the debate around asylum and detention.
- Workers’ rights: defending and expanding rights currently enshrined in EU law, and for a stronger trade union movement and right to strike.
- The environment: for the retention of all EU environmental protections and for a legally binding target of net carbon neutrality by 2030.
- Human rights: raising the alarm about the threats to the European Convention on Human Rights and the threat posed to it by a populist right government
- For food standards, animal rights, and other regulatory frameworks to be maintained and expanded
- Education and Innovation: campaigning for full participation in schemes like Erasmus+, Solidarity Corps, and for full access to science and research funding – Horizon Europe.
- Full access to Creative Europe and other cultural programmes and a proactive campaign to increase cultural exchange, mobility and cross-border collaboration for artists and creatives.
- Trade deals and Brexit legislation: campaigning for full parliamentary oversight over trade deals, and against deregulation or loss of rights as a part of them
- Fighting the far right and mobilising in opposition to them
- Shifting public opinion around a broader narrative of who is to blame for the crisis.
- Democratic and constitutional reform: we will support a complete overhaul of our broken political system, including proportional representation, decentralisation of power from Westminster to nations and regions, the abolition of the Royal Prerogative, the replacement of the House of Lords with an elected second chamber, and a consolidated written constitution.
- In practice, this will mean
- Campaigning inside political parties to have these policy positions adopted
- Initiating and supporting a social movement in line with our political mission, and supporting and initiating freestanding social movements on key issues. This means mass protests, direct action and the building of new networks and coalitions
- Building and regrouping a movement against Trump and Trumpism
- Supporting the work of other organisations active in the same area (for instance Global Justice Now’s work on trade)
- Building and supporting grassroots networks and initiatives for migrants
- Supporting workers in struggle and building links and campaigns inside trade unions and workplaces
- Working across borders with allies on the left, in labour movement and in social movements to continue our mission to transform the EU
- Support efforts to convene an international democratic assembly bringing together the labour, trade union and social movements of Europe and its neighbours to debate a common strategy for transforming Europe.
And a standalone proposal: Make Votes Matter
Many people who voted for Brexit did so because they felt ignored and left behind for decades. We recognise that our First Past the Post voting system was an underlying cause of this disillusionment because it allowed millions to see themselves as having no impact on elections, no voice in Parliament, and no influence over how the UK is governed.
Furthermore, First Past the Post is a boon to the eurosceptic right. In 19 of the last 20 general elections, most people have voted for parties to the left of the Conservatives. Yet the Conservatives have been in power for 66% of this time.
Proportional Representation is used throughout Europe and in the world’s most equal and progressive societies. It would give all voters a meaningful stake in our democracy, would make Parliament genuinely responsive to their needs, and would eliminate the possibility of a pro-Brexit parliamentary majority being elected on a minority of the vote.
We support the introduction of Proportional Representation and will support organisations leading parallel campaigns to shift the Labour Party’s policy in this direction. We will actively campaign to democratise the UK as part of a democratised European project.