Joint statement of the Communist Party of Ireland and the Communist Party of Britain

18 April 2009

The Communist Party of Ireland and the Communist Party of Britain held a bilateral meeting in Belfast on 18 April 2009. At the top of the agenda for both parties were closer co-operation in relation to strengthening the peace process and our response to the growing and deepening crisis of state-monopoly capitalism globally. 
     In relation to the peace process, both parties reaffirm their support for the Belfast and St Andrews Agreements as the only basis from which progress can be advanced and secured. Both parties see the full implementation of the Belfast Agreement as the only basis at present available from which to advance the legitimate and democratic demand for a united Ireland. 
     Both parties recognise that the return to military methods of struggle is and can only be a retreat into a cul-de-sac, inevitably resulting in death, suffering and further division, and hinders the necessary political struggles that are required to secure and advance the social, economic and national-democratic aspirations of the Irish people. Both parties support the demand for the decommissioning of all Loyalist paramilitary weapons. The two parties share the belief that there is a need for further demilitarisation and for the removal from the North of Ireland of all British military personnel, including all British intelligence agencies. 
     Despite its weaknesses and shortcomings, the Belfast Agreement represents the best framework and opportunity for developing and building cross-community reconciliation. The two parties recognise the important role of the trade union movement in this process. Both parties support the demand for the maximum economic, social and political co-operation between the two parts of Ireland and for the full implementation of the Belfast Agreement. 
     On the deepening crisis of monopoly capitalism, the two parties share a common understanding of the nature of the crisis. As well as sharing experiences of successes and difficulties in the present conditions, it is agreed that mobilising working-class forces in the defence of their wages and conditions as well as advancing their own class political demands is essential. 
     The two parties have a common understanding of the imperialist nature of the European Union and call for support for candidates in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament who oppose further EU integration with its neo-liberal and militarist agenda and who uphold the principles of democratic accountability and popular sovereignty. In Britain this means support for the “NO2EU—Yes to Democracy” platform. 
     In relation to the Lisbon Treaty, both parties condemn the decision of the Irish Government to abrogate the democratic decision of the Irish people in June 2008 to reject the treaty in a democratic vote. They call upon working people and other democratic forces to once again resoundingly reject this treaty and to rebuff the pressure from the EU Commission and other EU institutions to break their opposition to the ever-deepening EU integration promoted by those bodies. 
     The two parties share grave reservations about the approach of some communist parties in relation to the Party of the European Left as moving towards a political consensus for the acceptance of the European Union with its pro-big business, imperialist agenda. It is the feeling of both parties that this is not the best way forward for the working class of the EU member-states. 
     Both parties express their continuing solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and call for intensified action in support of Cuba, both material and political, for support for Cuba’s continuing efforts to rebuild after the hurricanes, and for support in the campaign to break the US blockade. Both acknowledge that the Cuban people and their revolution are in the front line of the struggle against imperialism and reaffirm their demand for the immediate and unconditional release of the Miami Five from their US prisons. 
     As well as solidarity with Cuba, both parties express their solidarity with and support for the continuing radical national-democratic transformations with an underlying anti-imperialist thrust now under way in a number of countries of Latin America. 
     Both parties condemn the imposition by the state of Israel of a form of apartheid on the people of Palestine. They call for an end to the acquiescence in this criminal policy by the Irish and British governments and the European Union and fully support the campaign for a boycott of Israeli goods, disinvestment from Israel, and an end to all Irish and British institutional links with the repressive apparatus of the Israeli state. 
     We reaffirm our support for full reproductive rights for women throughout Ireland as well as in Britain, including the right to contraception and abortion. 
     The Communist Party of Ireland and the Communist Party of Britain call for greater solidarity and enhanced co-operation between all communist and workers’ parties at this time in leading the struggle against imperialism.