BORIS Johnson’s Brexit deal was a farce – there’s nothing controversial in saying that, even if you’re a Leave voter.
The historic vote in 2016 was seen by liberal commentators as a victory for right-wing populism and xenophobia.
The infamous 52-48 vote to Leave would not have materialised without a significant working class revolution against the EU at the ballot box.
Many, including leftist heroes like Yanis Varoufakis and Jeremy Corbyn, couldn’t bring themselves to fully oppose Brussels and instead bought into ‘reluctant Remain’.
It was a betrayal to those in working class, multicultural cities such as Coventry, Birmingham and Bradford – but the draw of liberal Remainers in metropolitan cities was too much to offset.
As No. 10 battled with Brussels – who saw off Theresa May and David Cameron with the inadvertant help of the European Research Group – it was clear that Britain would not be giving the EU a bloody nose, but would end up as an example of what happens to those who betray the bloc.
Shambolic as it was, the Christmas Eve deal stirred a degree of pride, even admiration for a government which had managed to bungle the pandemic response and cause so much pain for the British people. Somehow, they had held firm against the technocrats and left Hotel California.
The most important fact of the deal was that Britain has finally lost its shackles. It’s now up to the people to decide whether they want to swing left or right instead of remaining in a political purgatory enforced by the EU.
While most Remainers – who had spent the last two years waving EU flags and demanding a People’s Vote instead of allying with a Labour leader who could have acheived a softer Brexit – finally gave up, Christmas was the start of the ‘Rejoin’ campaign for some.
On Friday we published comments from a new party hoping to win a future referendum on EU membership.
Volt UK, which has sister parties around Europe, boasts up to 40,000 supporters – and it’s co-president Alex Haida told us: “People were offered change, they were given a stone to throw but they didn’t know they were throwing it at their own house.”
While good-hearted, this sort of comment is exactly why Remain lost in the first place. Years were wasted appealing for EU membership which would prevent many leftist policies from being enacted. The reason ‘Lexit’ is even a movement is because of the bloc’s opposition to state aid and nationalisation, its commitment to free markets and the abhorrent treatment of Greece.
Staying in the EU or aiming to rejoin it is not change. It is a continuation of the policies that have eroded living standards for decades, and signs Britain up to a group that will prevent any political party from attempting to reinstate some equity.
With Brussels out of the way (sort of), the British left have a chance to change the fortune of this nation’s poorest if they ever get near power.
Corbyn came within thousands of votes in 2017, and had he negotiated a deal, we could have seen the creation of a pro-immigration, pro-workers’ rights and pro-fair trade Britain. Loving Europe without loving the EU may be a line wheeled out by the ERG, but it’s one that must be reclaimed by the left.
So enough with Brussels nostalgia, and forward onto campaigning for a Britain which has finally lost its shackles.
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