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The popularity, in the General Election, of the UK's first post-EU manifesto

June 13, 2017

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Corbyn and Europe: then and now

 

Jeremy Corbyn, in one of his now-deleted articles from his website, complained about the EU’s “ever-limiting powers for national parliaments”. So why is he now campaigning for In?

 

An interview for the Morning Star, still available on his site, earlier in the year might give a sign:

 

“I would not join the eurozone or the European Central Bank. I voted against Maastricht [in 1992] because it was a Europe based on free-market economics rather than social security and workers’ rights.”

 

“Yes, the Central Bank has treated [Greece] disgracefully. I had a very useful meeting with the prime minister of Portugal on Thursday and he has invited me and John McDonnell to go there and hold meetings in support of their programme of anti-austerity.

 

“We’re building an anti-austerity coalition across Europe.”

 

And this is the clue: he still believes there is room for a social Europe if coalitions of anti-austerity politics come to fruition. 

 

But are we not learning anything from Greece? The European Union, particularly the Rome Treaty and beyond, was founded on the principle of defending the interests of the "capitalist club". And it defends them with force. 

 

In any case, the EU is not the sum total of anti-austerity MEPs and a smattering of pressure groups. The EU itself is a big business lobby. The only expression of a social Europe is one in which national parliaments are returned their power and the anti-austerity movements are built nationally. 

 

Jeremy Corbyn used to accept this. Anything contrary is illusory. 

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