The Labour Party has "mislaid its radical roots," says Gisela Stuartby Gisela Stuart / March 1, 2016 / Leave a comment
On 23rd June, we will have a once-in-a-generation chance to decide whether to remain a member of the European Union. We should vote to leave it—this is the left-wing choice.
When Prime Minister David Cameron started his negotiations, he said that if the reform package offered to the UK wasn’t good enough, he would recommend that Britain reject it. Now that he has struck a deal, he’s predicting hellfire and brimstone if Britain votes to leave. His concern over the risks of Brexit seems sudden. Was his initial display of EU scepticism insincere?
Having promised fundamental reform, Cameron came back with little more than an exemption from the (largely symbolic) phrase “ever closer union,” a brake on in-work benefits to EU migrants, and protection for the City of London as a financial hub. Welcome as these things are, they amount to mere tinkering.
Cameron is now encouraging us to move on from these specifics to see the “big picture”—why Brexit would harm our international standing. This was expected: her never thought he could achieve fundamental reform. Nor did he ever seriously think Britain might be better off outside the EU; he called the referendum to placate Eurosceptics within his party and to keep Ukip at bay. I do not have much in common politically with either group, but I agree with them that we must leave the European Union. I am convinced that the UK can and must do better.
I am puzzled that the Labour Party seems to have mislaid its radical roots. Why are we storming the barricades to be on the side of the FTSE 100, the status quo, and an institution that threw millions of young people on the unemployment scrapheap in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal just to save the euro?