THE Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) has called on working people in Northern Ireland and Britain to vote to leave the European Union in the coming referendum.
“A vote to leave can be a vote for a different way forward,” said CPI general secretary Eugene McCartan in a statement on Tuesday, “a vote against the deepening global militarisation of which the EU is one of the driving forces.”
Mr McCartan said that a British exit would also call into question Ireland and other nations’ membership “and reopen opportunities for working-class struggle on the national level.”
The CPI warned leftwingers against distraction by opposition to the EU from “reactionary and chauvinist forces, nostalgic for the days of the British empire.”
It said that its support for withdrawal was based not on narrow nationalist grounds but rather upon working-class internationalism.
“The struggle against the European Union is essentially a struggle for democracy and sovereignty,” it said.
“It is an anti-imperialist struggle — one that some formerly anti-EU forces in the north-east of our country have walked away from, retreating into an idealised ‘critical engagement’ with imperialism.”
The CPI said that claims that the EU was a bulwark against attacks on workers’ rights and the environment were false arguments based on illusions.
“The EU and the treaties since the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 have been for institutionalising austerity, consolidating the interests, influence and power of ... monopoly capitalism.”