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Labour should prepare to fight neoliberalism within the EU – Lexit is not an option
But the British left has to stop dreaming about Lexit. One of the things we have genuinely learned from the process of trying to leave the EU is the extensive nature of its status as a regulatory superpower. Even a Britain ruled by the Socialist Workers Party and the Morning Star would find itself forced to comply with Commission directives. Paradoxically, a left exit from Europe is only possible if Europe itself goes left.

For two and a half years Labour has dutifully and painfully tried to make Brexit work. But parliament has been sidelined, time has run out, and the space for a Labour-designed version of Brexit has disappeared. If anybody has betrayed Brexit it is Theresa May. Once her deal is thrown out, the moral authority of the 2016 referendum evaporates. It’s then either no deal or no Brexit.

And if it’s no Brexit, watch the blood drain from the faces of European neoliberalism: I’ve been with Jeremy Corbyn as he’s hit both Brussels and the Hague with messages of uncompromising clarity: neoliberalism is over, austerity is a catastrophe. But to the stunned audience of centrist social democrats, Corbyn’s words always seemed like a message from afar. If we play this right, we can take it into the heart of Europe.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  LabourParty  Remain  reform  Maastricht  Germany  Italy  budget  Portugal  Greece  Spain  EC  neoliberalism  JunckerJean-Claude  freedomOfMovement  migration  exploitation  TheLeft  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
december 2018 by petej
Yanis Varoufakis’s European Dreams
To me what is now essential is for Britain — and this is possibly something Jeremy and I don’t agree on — to maintain freedom of movement. The Left should always fight to keep borders away and not to create new borders among people. So, for me a “Norway plus” solution would be ideal for Britain and even if that doesn’t happen, our New Deal for Europe, proposed by DieM 25, details how even after a hard Brexit [the UK breaking from all EU-related structures] British institutions and European institutions could coordinate in such a way as to simulate a European Union in which Britain is an integral and progressive part.
Europe  EU  politics  economics  Eurozone  EC  Italy  Greece  DiEM25  budget  finance  austerity  EIB  ECB  Syriza  MelechonJean-Luc  LePenMarine  SalviniMatteo  farRight  Brexit  Lexit  PeoplesVote  referendum  NorwayPlus  freedomOfMovement  dctagged  dc:contributor=VaroufakisYanis  interview  Jacobin 
november 2018 by petej
Financial Globalisation Has Been a Disaster. Brexit Gives Us a Chance to Resist It | Novara Media
The left was right to campaign against leaving the EU in 2016. Based on the tenor of the campaign, it was clear the Leave campaign would embolden the xenophobes and nationalists that exist across the class spectrum in the UK. This prediction was proven chillingly correct with both the spike in hate crime that followed the referendum and the movement that has emerged around Tommy Robinson over the last few weeks. The left should deplore and, if necessary, physically resist such acts of violent racism.

But fighting fascism does not mean accepting globalisation. The fact is, working class people are right to be pissed off about global economic and financial integration – especially those in the places that have been most ravaged by it. Financial globalisation has led to the concentration of capital in a series of financial entrepots, more integrated into the global economy than they are with their own countries. Rather than using this capital for productive investment, these centres have repurposed it for the kind of financial wizardry that caused the 2008 crash. London is in many ways the global financial hub par excellence, with the City of London the vampire squid sucking on the face of the global economy.

The left should be making a case for Brexit that involves resisting financial globalisation, whilst welcoming immigrants from the parts of the world that have been most ravaged by both colonialism and free market neocolonialism.
finance  economics  politics  globalisation  financialisation  neoliberalism  anti-globalisation  IMF  WTO  protest  activism  StiglitzJoseph  KrugmanPaul  TheLeft  France  nationalisation  Greece  Italy  EU  Euro  singleMarket  UK  Brexit  referendum  campaigning  immigration  intervention  economy  dctagged  dc:creator=BlakeleyGrace 
june 2018 by petej
The Sunday Essay: how we all colluded in Fortress Europe | Kenan Malik | Opinion | The Guardian
There is no iron law that says people must be irrevocably hostile to immigration. Many have become so because of the way that the issue has been framed by politicians on all sides. That framing has made immigration into a symbol of unacceptable change.

On the one hand, politicians have recognised a need for immigration. On the other, they have promoted the idea of immigration as a social problem that must be dealt with. At the same time, politicians often express disdain for those who express anxieties and fears about immigration, anxieties and fears that politicians often present as mere bigotry and racism. This poisonous mixture of necessity, fear and contempt has helped both to stigmatise migrants and create popular hostility towards the liberal elite for ignoring their views on immigration.

The contradictory needs and desires have also resulted in an incoherent, unworkable set of policies that have, paradoxically, been exacerbated by the development of free-movement policies within the EU. Freedom of movement is good and I am an advocate of such policy. The dream of free movement within the EU has, however, also spawned paranoia about the movement of people into the EU. The quid pro quo for Schengen has been the creation of a Fortress Europe, a citadel against immigration, watched over by a hi-tech surveillance system of satellites and drones and protected by fences and warships. When a journalist from Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine visited the control room of Frontex, the EU’s border agency, he observed that the language used was that of “defending Europe against an enemy”.
Europe  migration  migrants  refugees  crisis  Lampedusa  Mediterranean  sea  drowning  UK  Windrush  hostileEnvironment  France  MacronEmmanuel  Greece  Lesbos  fairness  borders  militarisation  OrbanViktor  politics  extremism  dctagged  dc:creator=MalikKenan 
june 2018 by petej
Daniel Trilling reviews ‘Violent Borders’ by Reece Jones, ‘Refuge’ by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier and ‘No Borders’ by Natasha King · LRB 13 July 2017
There is also a tendency among No Borders activists to overstate the differences between their work and that of established humanitarian organisations. King sees her activism as prefiguring a new world that will come about through the coalescence of lots of little initiatives – or, as she puts it, ‘a multitude of micro-refusals that are connected to each other rhizomatically and in their connections render the state more and more redundant’. Personally, I don’t think that’s what is happening. I think that whenever solidarity is expressed, whether it’s in the form of a No Borders squat, a legal charity suing the government to make them take in refugee children, a large NGO mounting rescue operations in the Mediterranean or, crucially, the networks people on the move set up themselves in order to survive, a different kind of refusal is being made: a refusal to let our behaviour towards others be governed by categories imposed from above. This is less about a particular end – ‘no borders’ – than an approach to the world as it is, to act ‘without borders’. For most, this is a necessary defence against a system they have little say in, but there is nothing in principle to stop political parties and leaders embracing a new way of thinking, or even changing the system itself. ‘Are humans defined primarily by our attachments to place or by movement?’ Reece Jones asks at the end of Violent Borders. I’m not sure a choice has to be made. People develop attachments to places, they move, they develop attachments to new places, and to new people. If you think people have a right to do that, then the question is how to support it. If you don’t, then you need to ask yourself: what level of violence are you prepared to tolerate to keep people in their place?
Europe  migration  refugees  crisis  Greece  Italy  Balkans  borders  security  racism  identity  nationalism  LRB  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
july 2017 by petej
European countries have carried out 8% of promised refugee relocations | World news | The Guardian
"Just two member states, Malta and Finland, have met their resettling obligations"
Europe  refugees  crisis  EU  Greece  Italy  EC  Malta  Finland 
march 2017 by petej
IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro, apologises for the immolation of Greece
"The report said the whole approach to the eurozone was characterised by “groupthink” and intellectual capture. They had no fall-back plans on how to tackle a systemic crisis in the eurozone – or how to deal with the politics of a multinational currency union – because they had ruled out any possibility that it could happen."

"The injustice is that the cost of the bail-outs was switched to ordinary Greek citizens – the least able to support the burden – and it was never acknowledged that the true motive of EU-IMF Troika policy was to protect monetary union. Indeed, the Greeks were repeatedly blamed for failures that stemmed from the policy itself. This unfairness – the root of so much bitterness in Greece – is finally recognised in the report."
IMF  Europe  finance  debt  crisis  Euro  bailout  Greece  Portugal  Ireland  ECB  troika 
july 2016 by petej
Prime Minister David Cameron's speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos - Speeches - GOV.UK
"Again let me put my cards squarely on the table. Of course there is a difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance. Evasion is illegal. It can and should be subject to the full force of the criminal law. But what about tax avoidance? Now of course there’s nothing wrong with sensible tax planning and there are some things that governments want people to do that reduce tax bills, such as investing in a pension, a start up business or giving money to a charity. But there are some forms of avoidance that have become so aggressive that I think it is right to say these raise ethical issues, and it is time to call for more responsibility and for governments to act accordingly.

In the UK we’ve already committed hundreds of millions into this effort, but acting alone has its limits. Clamp down in one country and the travelling caravan of lawyers, accountants and financial gurus will just move on elsewhere. So we need to act together, including at the G8. If there are difficult questions about whether existing standards are tough enough to tackle avoidance we need to ask them. If there are options for more multilateral deals on automatic information exchange to catch tax evaders we need to explore them."
CameronDavid  Greece  G8  taxAvoidance  trade  tax  transparency  politics 
april 2016 by petej
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