• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

CounterPunch needs you. piggybank-icon You need us. The cost of keeping the site alive and running is growing fast, as more and more readers visit. We want you to stick around, but it eats up bandwidth and costs us a bundle. Help us reach our modest goal (we are half way there!) so we can keep CounterPunch going. Donate today!
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Independence From the EU

We are at a crucial moment in British history. Are we going to press ahead confidently for a full Brexit that will allow the potential of our nation to flourish, or will we be cowed by the EU and voluntarily bind ourselves with such restrictive chains that leaving becomes remaining?

The problem, bluntly, is the machinery of what is called parliamentary democracy, but which increasingly is revealing itself as intensely anti-democratic.

Delivering Brexit constitutionally depends on forcing the desired outcome onto a divided government and recalcitrant Westminster MPs, so many of whom supported Remain. Parliament is indeed a centre of anti-Brexit – anti-democratic – activity. And it has become crystal clear that the people of Britain cannot rely on parliamentary democracy to carry out the referendum instruction.

Brexit is not politics as usual. It is the most important political issue since the Civil War in the 17th century. At its heart is the question of whether Britain will exist as an independent nation. So the failure of parliamentary democracy to deliver on the referendum is not failure as usual. It shows that the entire system needs to change.

The people must exercise sovereignty to take control. The mechanisms are not yet to hand, but they must be created. And they can only be created in the battle with those who are seeking to betray Brexit. That battle must be fought out in every arena – local and national, workplace, trade union. It will start as a form of resistance movement, but it must become more. We say it again: Take Control.

We need a real democracy in Britain, a people’s democracy where our representatives do our bidding or lose their jobs. A democracy where sovereignty resides in the people. People have assumed that all they need to do is elect their representatives, and then they can then sit back while those representatives do the business. To take control, we all have to be involved.

We must concentrate the maximum pressure on the political establishment. We have to find ways to compel the government into leaving properly and to actively use the whole reach of the state to improve the condition of Britain. Preparations must be moved forward, so that full advantage is taken of Brexit.

With Brexit the state must implement a vision for Britain and target investment where we need to transform industry, infrastructure and skills. The state can guide productive forces forward (even under capitalism) – indeed it is often more daring and willing to take risks than private business. The government must creatively use the state in a number of areas.

Plan how to protect and increase the fishing industry and provide material and financial support now.

Initiate studies into how to expand the electronic recording of the movement of goods in and out of the country.

Manufacture the devices needed, if necessary in government-supported firms.

Work to keep our military forces independent of the EU and protect our domestic procurement industries.

Devise a plan to develop a more self-sufficient energy industry.

Enhance our transport and communications network to sustain an increase in our economy.

Raise the skills of millions of British people in a planned and concerted way (proper apprenticeships, high-quality vocational courses and training, enlist the young for the future) so that Britain will have the skills to succeed – a key foundation for the country to thrive as an independent nation.

If the people are sincere about gaining independence from the EU, then everything we do before and after departure has to prepare and develop our country – its industry, infrastructure and assets – for this demanding new situation. We cannot stand still, we have to advance to independence.

More articles by:

Will Podmore is a librarian and writer living in London. He is the author of The EU Bad for Britain – a Trade Union View, British Foreign Policy Since 1870 and The War Against the Working Class.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

May 22, 2019
T.J. Coles
Vicious Cycle: The Pentagon Creates Tech Giants and Then Buys their Services
Thomas Knapp
A US War on Iran Would be Evil, Stupid, and Self-Damaging
Johnny Hazard
Down in Juárez
Mark Ashwill
Albright & Powell to Speak at Major International Education Conference: What Were They Thinking?
Binoy Kampmark
The Victory of Small Visions: Morrison Retains Power in Australia
Laura Flanders
Can It Happen Here?
Dean Baker
The Money in the Trump/Kushner Middle East Peace Plan
Manuel Perez-Rocha – Jen Moore
How Mining Companies Use Excessive Legal Powers to Gamble with Latin American Lives
George Ochenski
Playing Politics With Coal Plants
Ted Rall
Why Joe Biden is the Least Electable Democrat
May 21, 2019
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Locked in a Cold War Time Warp
Roger Harris
Venezuela: Amnesty International in Service of Empire
Patrick Cockburn
Trump is Making the Same Mistakes in the Middle East the US Always Makes
Robert Hunziker
Custer’s Last Stand Meets Global Warming
Lance Olsen
Renewable Energy: the Switch From Drill, Baby, Drill to Mine, Baby, Mine
Dean Baker
Ady Barkan, the Fed and the Liberal Funder Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
Maduro Gives Trump a Lesson in Ethics and Morality
Jan Oberg
Trump’s Iran Trap
David D’Amato
What is Anarchism?
Nicky Reid
Trump’s War In Venezuela Could Be Che’s Revenge
Elliot Sperber
Springtime in New York
May 20, 2019
Richard Greeman
The Yellow Vests of France: Six Months of Struggle
Manuel García, Jr.
Abortion: White Panic Over Demographic Dilution?
Robert Fisk
From the Middle East to Northern Ireland, Western States are All Too Happy to Avoid Culpability for War Crimes
Tom Clifford
From the Gulf of Tonkin to the Persian Gulf
Chandra Muzaffar
Targeting Iran
Valerie Reynoso
The Violent History of the Venezuelan Opposition
Howard Lisnoff
They’re Just About Ready to Destroy Roe v. Wade
Eileen Appelbaum
Private Equity is a Driving Force Behind Devious Surprise Billings
Binoy Kampmark
Bob Hawke: Misunderstood in Memoriam
J.P. Linstroth
End of an era for ETA?: May Basque Peace Continue
Weekend Edition
May 17, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Trump and the Middle East: a Long Record of Personal Failure
Joan Roelofs
“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Slouching Towards Tehran
Paul Street
It’s Even More Terrible Than You Thought
Rob Urie
Grabby Joe and the Problem of Environmental Decline
Ajamu Baraka
2020 Elections: It’s Militarism and the Military Budget Stupid!
Andrew Levine
Springtime for Biden and Democrats
Richard Moser
The Interlocking Crises: War and Climate Chaos
Ron Jacobs
Uncle Sam Needs Our Help Again?
Eric Draitser
Elizabeth Warren Was Smart to Tell FOX to Go to Hell
Peter Bolton
The Washington Post’s “Cartel of the Suns” Theory is the Latest Desperate Excuse for Why the Coup Attempt in Venezuela has Failed
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Analysis of Undecideds Suggests Biden’s Support May be Exaggerated
Peter Lackowski
Eyewitness in Venezuela: a 14-year Perspective
Karl Grossman
Can Jerry Nadler Take Down Trump?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail