Leave – Fight – Transform: The LeFT Campaign brings together trade unionists, socialists and community activists from across the left with a range of different views. The core point that unites the LeFT Campaign is a commitment to break with the European Union. LeFT does not see its role as being yet another ‘think-tank’ to develop policies or position papers on specific issues. Instead the LeFT Campaign will work with trade unionists, community and political activists to develop and popularise a principled, socialist case for leaving the EU. We recognise that the LeFT Campaign alone cannot deliver all the transformative changes in society we wish to see in our lifetimes. The LeFT Campaign is united by the following core principles:
Socialism and Democracy
- The ongoing crisis of neoliberal capitalism, which has produced falling wages, job insecurity, growing inequality and emboldened the racist, far right from Europe to America, can only be confronted though the collective action of the organised working class.
- The EU is not just undemocratic, but explicitly anti-democratic. Through its treaties, regulations and processes the EU undermines citizens’ rights, workers’ rights, migrant rights, the welfare state and any possibility for building radical, socialist alternatives to the status quo.
- Socialism, developed from the ground up by the struggles and activities of the working class, represents the only hope for building a better society – the EU is fundamentally an anti-working class, pro-big business project.
- Any movement to transform society must have economic, social and political democracy at its heart, and pursue a project of extending genuine, meaningful democracy into every aspect of our lives, from workplaces and local communities through to every level of government.
Anti-Racism and Migrant Rights
- Anti-racism and the struggle for migrants’ rights are central to any working-class struggle for socialism.
- The social and economic crisis unfolding from 2008 boosted racist, reactionary forces from Hungary to Brazil, which are also seeking to find traction in Britain. The economic model pursued by successive UK governments, and constitutionalised by the EU treaties, produces conditions in which the reactionary right thrives.
- The histories of colonialism, racism and imperialism in the UK and other EU states, provide a basis for resurgent ethno-nationalist and racist movements in these countries, and their success is due in large part to the failures of the left to offer a radical, coherent alternative to the current crisis.
- Racism and anti-migrant scapegoating, which are common features of European societies and which long pre-date Britain’s EU referendum, played a central part in the campaigning for the Brexit referendum, and have been further weaponised since the vote to leave the EU. The EU however, with its racist ‘Fortress Europe’ immigration policies, violently policed borders, proliferation of people-trafficking mafias and deals with dictators and militias to keep migrants in internment camps outside the EU, embodies racism to its core.
- In the current conjuncture, all migrants in the UK (not just EU nationals) should immediately and unconditionally have their residence status confirmed. Furthermore, all migrants to the UK should enjoy the exact same rights as UK nationals, without any discriminatory conditions.
- All inhumane detention centers, such as Yarl’s Wood, should be shut down immediately. The left in the UK must fight for the election of a government which will pursue the most egalitarian immigration and refugee policies, while at the same time working in workplaces and communities to build strong, working class anti-racist movements as a central part of the fight against racism and for migrant rights.
Internationalism and Transformation
- The fight for socialism is, of necessity, international. The EU undermines the genuine internationalism of the working class, and instead constitutionalises the interests of international capital.
- Breaking with the EU is not a nationalist perspective, but a class perspective. To transform our society, in Britain and around the world, to advance socialism and the interests of the working class, we must break with the treaties, laws and institutions of the EU.
- In the face of deepening climate crisis, we need an active national state, subject to the democratic control of working people, to nationalise and plan essential services and industries and deliver the green infrastructure, energy and jobs we need.
- The state also plays a central part in transforming property ownership. We must reverse the privatisation of essential public services (transport, postal, energy, housing, health care and education), and secure decent jobs, public services and democratic government accountable to working class people.
- The EU has developed in order to prevent the implementation of such transformative social and economic policies, and as such breaking with the EU is an integral element in any movement leftwards.