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A Plea to My Friends Who Want Lexit – This Is Not the Time


A Plea to My Friends Who Want Lexit – This Is Not the Time

Nick Dearden

I’m not a great fan of the EU. Virtually all of my life is spent campaigning against its policies. Whether it be big business trade deals like the EU-US trade deal TTIP, the destructive austerity imposed on Greece or inhumane pacts with Turkey to keep refugees out of the richest part of the world, there’s not much to like.


Dearden writes:

"The mainstream campaign to leave the EU has pandered to nationalism, has built a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment and has fostered a notion that outside the EU we can return to an age when Britain was the world’s foremost ‘great power’."

i have not closely followed the rhetoric in Britain around the Brexit referendum, but gosh, that sure sounds a lot like... "Make Britain Great Again!"


"Britain has become a power base for a legalised financial mafia"

An article by the UK journalist and fierce environmental activist on the Bwexit vote in the UK to leave the EU

Britain has become a power base for a legalised financial mafia that strips the assets of healthy companies, turns the nation’s housing into a roulette table, launders money for drug cartels and terrorists, then stashes its gains beyond the reach of police and tax inspectors. Through privatisation, outsourcing and the private finance initiative, the public sector has been repurposed as a get-rich-quick scheme for friends in the City, licensed to erect tollbooths in front of essential services. The media, largely owned by members of the same class, directs our attention elsewhere, blaming immigrants for the ills it has inflicted.

It was British lobbying that sank Europe’s soil framework directive and the financial transactions tax. Without a mandate from either parliament or people, the British trade minister wrote secretly to the European commission insisting that investor-state dispute settlement should remain in the TTIP. Wherever barriers to the power of money are being kicked over, there you will find David Cameron’s bootprint.

Since the first states were established, they have sought power by making alliances. The splendid autonomy we are told a Britain out of Europe would enjoy is an illusion: we would swap one transnational system for another. The demand to leave Europe in the name of independence has long been accompanied by a desire to surrender our sovereignty to the United States. If judged by their own standards, the Brexit campaigners who foresee a stronger alliance with the US are traitors, ceding the national interest to a foreign hegemon.

Sixteen years ago, the Conservative party published a draft manifesto in which it proposed that we should join the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). This remains a plausible outcome of leaving the EU: it is hard to imagine the business class permitting the UK to stand outside a formal trading bloc. What this means is swapping a treaty over which we have had some influence for one in which we have had none.

How do we know that TTIP would tear down public protections? Because the same clauses in Nafta have already started doing so across Canada, the US and Mexico. A closer alliance with the US means surrendering to a system that has been signed, sealed and delivered to the power of money. A Congress bound and gagged with dollars; a police and military machine pressed into the service of plutocracy; a media that scarcely bothers to disguise its own corruption. The political power of money there is naked, unashamed – even proud.

I suspect that Donald Trump, or at least Trumpery of some kind, represents the future of US politics, especially if the Democrats fail to connect with people who are catastrophically alienated from the system. Exciting as it will be to have a woman in the White House, Hillary Clinton is embedded in corporate power and corporate dollars.

We do not release ourselves from the power of money by leaving the EU. We just exchange one version for another: another that is even worse. This is not an inspiring position from which to vote remain. But it is a coherent one.

The European Union is the worst choice – apart from the alternative: The EU is a festering cesspool. But it’s a crystal spring compared with what the outers want to do – surrender Britain’s sovereignty to the United States

Here are some other articles by George Moinbot

From Sept 2015 another article from The Guardian that was linked to in the article above

The City’s stranglehold makes Britain look like an oh-so-civilised mafia state: Dodgy donations, misselling, trading scandals, tax evasion: wherever you sniff, something stinks

It was from reading George's work that I first realized that "trade" deals included giving up sovereignty. It might have been this article from 2013 where I learned that.

This transatlantic trade deal is a full-frontal assault on democracy: Brussels has kept quiet about a treaty that would let rapacious companies subvert our laws, rights and national sovereignty


The author seems to say that the EU is so bad, that Britain must stay in it to help everybody else overthrow it??!! Wow! That's a strange gamble ...


Paul Craig Roberts has raised the issue of Brexit helping to break up NATO ...


It would be a hard blow to the EU community, if the UK left, - in the short run.
In the long run it would benefit the cohesiveness of it. The British attitude has always been too insular to fit into any team of nations. While the EEC through to EU is/was an excellent concept for peace and stability in Europe, the EU was patched together to hastily without the proper frame work.
It is time to step back and reassess the structure of the community and that can only be accomplished with members, who are committed to it.


Who cares what "Little England" thinks? The European economic experiment has been on the investment class' terms all along. If Nigel Farage thinks it's a good idea to leave, that's just a stopped watch being right twice a day. Break it up, it's a nightmare for working people and a prop to global neoliberalism.


Yes, this is pretty much my position too. I spend quite a lot of my time arguing with people about why the EU is a terrible institution, but I spend more of my time arguing with people who think that leaving is any sort of solution. It's not even as though I feel that, on the day, I'm going to hold my nose and vote one way or the other; I think that leaving is a far worse proposition, but I am also not blind to the problems this country has put off tackling for too long - and, as I have noted elsewhere, the Leave campaign has dismally failed to make any serious proposals themselves, but has instead devoted its time and efforts to perpetuating a xenophobic view of the world (I have the official Remain leaflet in front of me, and probably about a quarter of it is devoted to implying that 89m people are planning to move here when their countries join the EU.) It's just that the Remain campaign has failed to make its case either - or, rather, its case has been "well it's OK, because we'll just opt-out of everything anyway."


Reading the article, it seems that the author is really saying that leaving the EU would be doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons. Britain will extend its brown tongue to maintain their "special relationship" regardless of whether they remain in the EU or not.


If the EU was a CIA/neoliberal child to begin with, and if the neoliberal establishment has such a vested interest in the EU, it's hard to believe they won't resort to vote fraud to defeat Brexit. Bernie's fate should have made that clear.