By Jane West
There are two distinct projects in Britain to drive down the living standards of the working class and so drive up profits. One is the project of European Union big capital, which is to drive down the share of the economy that goes to the working class and raise profits, through slow attrition meaning a permanent squeeze on public spending, reducing the welfare state and wage decline or low growth. The other is the Brexit project which is an immediate and ferocious assault on living standards, trade union rights and public services.
By Tom O’Leary
The certainty that Brexit will push living standards lower is not really a forecast- it is already happening. Immediately following the referendum the pound fell sharply and has more or less stayed at that lower level since. The 13 per cent decline means that CPI inflation is moving remorselessly higher and will continue to do so. Higher inflation means lower wages and incomes in real terms.
Notes from the front of 4-2-2017
The Tories are on a course to force the Article 50 Bill through parliament at break-neck speed. The framework the government has set out is to take the country out of the Single Market, without any limits on the negotiated outcome.
By Pat Tanner
It is clear, and becoming increasingly publicly evident, that in the coming period the living standards of the British population and British workers cannot be maintained without membership of the European Single Market. The inflation that will be created by the plunging pound will significantly cut living standards, while refusal of companies to invest without free access to a European market which is many times bigger than any UK one will lead to heavy job losses. The significantly lower economic growth that will result will put further pressure on social spending.
The Corbyn leadership of the Labour party is the most important development on the left in Britain for generations and should be wholeheartedly supported by all socialists and the left. However, due to the cavalier behaviour of the previous Tory leadership under Cameron, this Labour leadership is faced with grappling with an equally momentous and complex political crisis resulting from the vote in favour of Brexit.
Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech explicitly declared that the UK will not only be leaving the European Union but will also be leaving the Single Market and the institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice. The effect will be to create new tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers on trade, which will raise prices, depress trade and lower investment thereby lowering living standards and losing jobs.
The article below by Tom O’Leary provides an analysis of the recent Autumn Statement including the forecasts for growth and living standards that have been revised sharply lower by the Office of Budget Responsibility. A key point is that the OBR is clear: around 60 per cent of the cuts made to those forecasts are a result of the Brexit referendum vote. Brexit will make us poorer.
Brexit is the most important issue facing Britain. If Brexit goes ahead it will have major negative repercussions on the British economy and society for at least a generation. How the labour movement, including the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party, responds to this crisis is therefore decisive. How the Labour leadership responds to Brexit will largely determine whether it will be able to advance electorally and whether the Corbyn leadership maintains and sustains the progressive wave of primarily young people into the Labour Party that have allowed him to twice win the leadership.
Notes from the front of 24-10-16
Labour should push for vote before Article 50 is triggered – and oppose a general election
The most important issue in British politics is Brexit. Unless there is a major war with British involvement, then Brexit is also likely to be the most important issue for the foreseeable future. Everything else is subordinate to that.
Notes from the front of 21-10-16
There is no such thing as Lexit
Four months after the EU referendum the consequences of pursuing Brexit are starting to unfold, revealing the reality of its reactionary character. Despite negotiations between the Tory government and the EU-27 not having even started, Brexit's negative consequences are already being felt.
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