McCluskey: vote Remain for a more equal Europe

10th March, 2016 9:51 am

Len McCluskey

A vote to remain in the European Union is a vote for its original message of “solidarity and hope”, Len McCluskey has said.

An EU focused on investment across the continent, rather than the needs of bankers, is a “Europe worth voting for” according the the Unite General Secretary.

McCluskey went on to criticise the finance first approach currently dominant in the EU:

“I’m a supporter of the European Union but when I vote for Britain to remain in the EU in June, I will not be voting for the status quo – let me be clear about that.

“I will not be voting for the EU which has sought to impose eye-watering austerity, at the expense of the ordinary citizen not the rich, but on Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere.

“I will not be voting for the EU which is seeking to stitch-up a pro-big business trade deal – TTIP – behind the backs of the people of Europe.

He called on Britain to work for “solidarity” across Europe, rather than one marred by inequality and a refugee crisis

“I believe such a Europe is possible, and that it is the sort of Europe millions of people want – I argue that Britain needs to be in the EU to help bring it about.”

He went on to criticise David Cameron’s EU deal for being at odd with the interests of workers:

“I will not be voting for David Cameron’s renegotiation package – a deal designed to protect the financial interests in the City of London which control the Conservative Party and to pander to anti-migrant and anti-welfare sentiment.

“It is disappointing to see how eager European governments were to accommodate him, in stark contrast to the reception given to premier Tsipras of Greece last year.”

Brexit would be worse for the UK, as it would leave the Conservative’s right-wing agenda untempered by the EU’s checks and balances:

“Since their election, the Tories have introduced one proposal after another to further weaken and undermine the trade unions, and to starve the Labour party of its traditional source of funding.

Unite’s position so far has been pro-EU, saying their members have benefited from the jobs, rights and solidarity EU membership has brought the UK. They will be planing their approach to the referendum campaign next week.

McCluskey’s speech is online here.

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