Steve Freeman (Left Unity and RISE) sees the forthcoming EU referendum as undermining the potential for a European democratic revolution.



The UK’s European referendum is no more than an opportunity for the Crown to extract more concessions for the City, whilst promoting its anti-working class racist neo-liberal agenda. It is not enough, however, to say that the working class should not vote in any way to endorse Cameron’s dirty little deal.

The City and the Big Corporations intend to gain more profits in a gamble that Cameron can win a ‘Remain’ majority. Gambling and fixing the result is what they are experts at. But it is equally an opportunity for European Democracy to take a step forward by winning support and mobilising for a European democratic revolution.

The programme of a European social republic has not been agreed by the progressive working class, socialist and environmentalist forces across the EU. That shows how weak we are. But we can say that the democratic revolution must win a democratic and federal social republic. It must contain the constitutional right of nations to self determination.

The right to self determination does not exist in the EU. It is in the hands of the European ruling classes not the English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Greek or Portuguese people. European national self determination would certainly make it impossible for English votes to force Scotland out of the EU. Indeed it would spell the end of the ‘Little Britain’ Union which has been rendered obsolete by the EU.

The British Unionists must stand for an exit. It is the only logical position against the threat to the UK from a European democratic revolution. Most of the ‘Little Britain’ left do not understand or support the constitutional-legal right to self determination. They have been incapable of recognising the distinction between self determination and their own ruling classes opportunistically granting a referendum as they did for Scotland in 2014 and now over the EU.

The programme of a European social republic and democratic (or working peoples) revolution is not however limited to European level democratic mobilisations and for example calls for a European constituent assembly. The Greek people do not have to wait for the rest of us. We don’t have to wait for Holland, Spain, Belgium etc. to abolish the remnants of the European monarchies. We can do our bit in the UK.

The European democratic revolution is not a crude simultaneous event but a combined and uneven process. It does not contradict the Greek, Spanish or UK democratic revolutions. On the contrary a democratic revolution in the backwater of ‘Little Britain’ would not merely catch up but become the vanguard of democratic revolution across the continent.

So abolishing the monarchy, House of Lords and the Acts of Union which mark the beginning of democratic revolution in the UK are not separate from, but part of, the European revolution. Whether England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland take the lead, working people would have to reach out to democratic allies in the rest of Europe.

UKIP are absolutely right that the conservative programme of defending the British Union is for keeping control of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and leaving the EU. Voting No in the Scottish referendum and voting for Exit from the EU go together. But if you are the City of London then voting No for Scotland and Voting to Remain in the EU makes perfect sense.