Dáil debates

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Post-European Council: Statements


2:55 pm

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, Solidarity) | Oireachtas source

Where was the concern for removing opportunities when EU-IMF troika austerity drove up, for example, youth unemployment from Greece to Ireland and created horrific conditions for people? Where was the concern for the rights of people when the EU supported the Spanish state, repressing the national aspirations and the rights of people in Catalonia? Where was the concern for making lives more uncertain when Trichet warned that a bomb would go off in Dublin if bondholders are burned? We reject all the right-wing sides of those arguments and we agree with Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, when he said we should reject the false choice of a bad deal versus no deal.

There is potential for a general election in Britain and if Corbyn fights that election on the basis of building on the success of the 2017 election, adopting clear socialist politics that can point the way forward in the interests of working class people, including on the question of Brexit, he can win a victory and that will transform the entire picture. That does mean rejecting the EU-Tory neoliberal deal. Deputy Howlin listed all the things that Corbyn could do within the framework of the EU but he could not, for example, within the framework of the deal that has been outlined, nationalise rail, which is a key commitment he has made.

There needs to be a reopening of negotiations on the basis of opposition to all Single Market and customs union rules that go against the interests of the working class - those on state aid, market liberalisation or the posted workers directive. Instead, we need to demand an entirely different relationship with the EU, including new trading custom arrangements based on the interests of working class people, not the 1%.

A Corbyn Government would open up a very different process of negotiation, speaking over the heads of the Commission and the heads of the right-wing governments to speak to working class people across Europe about agreeing a new deal across Europe, the cancellation of odious debt and ripping up the right-wing neoliberal fiscal rules.

In Ireland, the trade union movement has an historic responsibility to stand up for any jobs that are threatened, and workers need to get organised. The labour movement should be unequivocal in taking action against any moves which increase sectarianism, including any would-be hardening of borders or any raising of the prospect of an east-west border in the Irish Sea.


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