IWGB notes with concern that the Conservative government’s plans to offer UK citizens an in/out referendum on EU membership in 2017 could lead to the UK’s exit from the European Union.

IWGB believes an exit would be detrimental to many IWGB members and their families, many of whom reside in the UK based on its membership of the EU.

IWGB further believes that the push for exit is being driven by the nationalist right who want to attack migrants as well as workers’ rights more generally, and would have negative consequences for workers and particularly migrants in the UK.

IWGB also notes the strength of anti-immigrant and anti-rights rhetoric which is being used by political figures and by the press to persuade the British public to vote for an EU exit. IWGB stands in strong opposition to these views.

With this in mind the IWGB recognises that the EU, like its constituent member states, is organised primarily in the interests of capital, as has been demonstrated by recent events in Greece. IWGB stands in solidarity with Greece and with other countries affected by the current political setup of the EU.

IWGB resolves:

  • To combine opposition to British exit from the EU with advocating a Europe reorganised to serve workers’ interests: a democratic Europe promoting workers’ rights and social provision, levelled up across the continent, and with genuine freedom of movement and equal rights for migrants.

For these reasons IWGB believes its members would be worse off in the event of an EU exit and IWGB therefore resolves:

  • to publicly state its opposition to an EU exit for the reasons outlined above
  • to call for support from other groups on the left who may currently support or be ambivalent to a UK exit from the EU
  • to publicly state its belief in the need for EU reform as an alternative to exit
  • to publicly state support for and solidarity with the people of Greece and other countries negatively affected by the EU’s economic policies
  • to identify and work with other groups that are campaigning to stay in the EU
  • to inform and educate members and the general public about the consequences for working people of an EU exit
  • to build networks of solidarity and support in the wider community.
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