In a polished performance Gemma Weir has set out the Party’s case for leaving the European Union at a debate entitled The Left Speaks on Brexit – part of this year’s West Belfast Festival / Feile an Phobail
In her opening remarks Gemma said,
“The referendum is over – we are leaving the European Union. But we are still Europeans and some of us still believe in the socialist project, the unity of working people in all countries and the overthrow of capitalism. What we don’t believe in is the EU”.
She then identified Five Reasons why a leave vote was the position of principled socialists:
- The EU is undemocratic
- It is Irreformable
- The EU is anti-worker
- ‘Social Europe’ is a myth
- Voting leave was an act of international solidarity
“No self-respecting party of the left could do other than vote to get out“. she said.
Labour can wait EU advocates Sinn Fein and the Green’s failed to impress with SF Councillor Jim McVeigh arguing that labour should wait . “Those battles are for another day” he said “Our focus should be on a united Ireland inside the European Union”.
He failed to respond when Gemma challenged Sinn Fein’s U turn on Europe having opposed membership right until the referendum to leave.
Both Sinn Fein’s and the Green’s position came in for robust criticism from the floor
Those who thought the debate – which was heated at times – would be a push over for the ‘Remain’ camp left disillusioned and perhaps a little wiser
Read Gemma’s opening address in full here: The Left Speaks on BREXIT