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EVERY MP who wants Britain to remain in the European Union should be “opposed” by the labour movement, Arthur Scargill said yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting of the left-wing anti-EU group Leave Fight Transform (LeFT) at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton, the former National Union of Mineworkers president said that “every single MP who wants us to go back into Europe should be opposed.
“That is my view, as a socialist, as a Marxist,” Mr Scargill said.
After jokingly thanking delegates for allowing “a moderate such as myself” to speak at the rally, Mr Scargill criticised the Labour leadership for backing a second referendum.
He said: “The people who were responsible for sabotaging the referendum result in 2016 must be challenged, we can’t keep exonerating them.”
Mr Scargill criticised shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry for her support for Europe, saying: “We have a shadow foreign secretary who says the position of the Labour Party is that we can negotiate a better deal than the Tories, but is already committed to campaigning to Remain irrespective of the deal we negotiate.
“How on earth can anybody put that position forward? It beggars belief.”
He went on to say: “Jeremy Corbyn voted against the Lisbon Treaty.
“Why is he now putting together a platform which is indistinguishable from the 21 MPs who have left the Tory Party?”
Other speakers included RMT activist Eddie Dempsey, Communist Party of Britain chairwoman Liz Payne, teacher and education activist Gawain Little and Manchester Labour Students leader Sarah Cundy.
Mr Little said the left’s priority must be the election of a left-led Labour government, but such a government would be limited in its ability to confront big business and the markets if tied down by the EU’s neoliberal treaties.
Referencing the miners’ leader Mick McGahey’s famous quote that “they’ll stop chasing you when you stop running,” Mr Dempsey said: “I’ve never seen anyone run as quick as John McDonnell in these last few weeks.
“It demonstrates that when the people of this country take a democratic vote against the ruling class — that is a political crisis.
“A Corbyn government inside the EU is toothless. We couldn’t end privatisation in the NHS or outsourcing, or renationalise railways and utilities.
“It’s time for people who care about the labour movement in this country to stand up and say that we need to get out of the EU and enact socialist policies.”
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