People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann has lambasted the European Union as “neo-liberal” and “anti-democratic” and says he’ll be voting for Brexit next week.
“There is no prospect of turning the EU away from the path of naked ‘competitiveness’ (the race to the bottom), the destruction of fundamental rights, and enforced austerity. If we vote to stay in, things will only get worse,” said Mr McCann at a debate in the Playhouse on Thursday, June 16.
“Our slogan is – ‘In or out, the fight goes on.’ We will have better terrain for the struggle outside the stranglehold of an anti-democratic entity. That’s the biggest point of all,” he said.
Mr McCann also predicted there’ll be no hardened border in the event of Brexit.
“As for Leave leading to border checks on the Buncrana Road - the border between Sweden (in the EU) and Norway (outside) is like Bridgend. You drive across without hindrance and wouldn’t notice a border.
“The two governments and every one of the bigger parties on the island are opposed to a ‘hard border.’ More important, the people on both sides of the border wouldn’t stand for it. Does anybody think that the British government is going to send thousands of border guards to stand at crossings at Louth-Armagh?”
The veteran socialist said the suggestion the European Union protects the rights of ordinary people today is a fiction.
“The days when the EU had even a pretence of a progressive role are long gone. John Major’s government negotiated a full opt-out from the social chapter through the Maastricht Treaty. EU has now become completely committed to letting market forces rip through every aspect of our lives. EU competition law forbids intervention to save jobs - because State subsidy would ‘distort the market.’
“Remain campaigners say they will reform the EU. No, they won’t. There is no mechanism for doing any such thing. The Lisbon Treaty copper-fastened neo-liberalism.
“The Greek people learned all about EU democracy last year. Their decisions were treated with contempt. The chief EU Commissioner, Jean Paul Junker, put it plain: ‘To suggest that everything is going to change because there’s a new government in Athens is to mistake dreams for reality… There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.’”