“Boycott the EU election!” is the call from the Communist Party of Britain. We in the Communist Party are saying that this election has no democratic legitimacy, since the people have voted to leave the EU – not only in the referendum but in the last general election, when both main parties included Brexit in their election manifestos, so that their MPs were elected on that basis. This election is only happening because the Brussels negotiators insisted upon it as a condition for extending the negotiating period. We say Britain doesn’t need to ask permission to reclaim its national sovereignty, so we should just leave.
Some people will argue that voting is a right that was hard won. This is true for the right to elect MPs, but not for the right to elect MEPs. This right was given to us to distract us from the fact that very important law-making powers were being taken away from Westminster and given to the undemocratic, unaccountable Brussels institutions. This enabled successive Tory and Labour governments to collude with Brussels in passing laws that they would never need to put into an election manifesto or a Parliamentary Bill. They have made the EU into a weapon of the big corporations against the people and the EU “Parliament” has no power to change this.
EU rules would halt a future Labour government’s policies for public investment in industry and infrastructure (including housing and public transport), an end to privatisation and outsourcing, cuts in VAT and a ban on the super-exploitation of migrant workers. The EU “Parliament” has no power to change this, since these laws are written into the treaties and hence can’t be changed except by unanimous agreement of all 28 member-states.
We believe that the EU is an attack upon democracy and popular sovereignty. It is designed to make capitalism and neoliberalism (Thatcherism) permanent, democracy minimal and socialism impossible.
A strong campaign to boycott this election, as a political act, might help to dissuade Leave voters from voting for the racist UKIP or the right-wing Brexit party. On this rare occasion, a low turnout would ensure that no winner would have any legitimacy.
Ken Keable, Secretary, SW England & Cornwall District Committee, Communist Party of Britain.