National Executive Committee, Communist Party of Ireland
28 August 2016
At a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland in August the political situation was discussed and evaluated.
The fall-out from the vote of the people within the British state to leave the European Union continues to sow confusion and division within the EU itself, and within Britain, as well as among the Irish establishment.
British finance capital, centred on the City of London, has not given up the possibility of reversing the democratic decision of the majority of people within that state to leave the EU. It will continue in its attempts to undermine the people’s wishes in order to secure its own interests and its position within EU and global finance capital.
The Irish establishment is clearly worried about the possible consequences of the British state leaving the EU and the effect this might have on the movement of both goods and people between Britain and Ireland. Britain has always been the principal market for Irish agricultural products and also for the dispersing of the surplus population for whom the Irish ruling class were and are unable to provide jobs, homes, services or educational opportunities since its foundation. The fall-out has also exposed the establishment’s subservient relationship to the interests and needs of the EU and global monopoly capitalism.
The debate preceding the Brexit vote exposed the very real subservience of sections of the Irish labour movement, north and south, to the European Union. Decades of funding dependence have blurred their understanding of the real nature of the EU. A similar blurred understanding has also been exposed among many other social organisations that have come to rely on EU funds. The real marginalising of the people in the north-east of our country and their removal from having any real or meaningful control over their lives and the decisions that affect their lives has been further exposed. Fiscal powers for the Assembly would constitute an advance in this direction and make it possible to hold the Assembly parties to account for their decisions.
All the weight of the Irish trade union movement needs to be brought to bear upon the Northern Executive to demand that the Irish and British states make up for any possible loss of funding that may ensue if and when the British state withdraws from the EU.
A debate about whether the Irish state should remain within the euro zone is now an urgent necessity. It is in the people’s interests to break out of this fiscal and political straitjacket.
The workers’ movement here in Ireland and throughout the European Union needs to use the limited window of opportunity now presented with the Brexit vote and the divisions that have opened up to press its own demands, which are of vital interest to workers throughout the EU.
The workers’ movement needs to step up the demand for greater national control over economic and fiscal policies, ensuring that national democracy and sovereignty are not mere slogans but are essential tools for bringing about the real economic, social and political changes that are required to meet the people’s political and economic demands.