Overlooked left-wing case for leaving a destructive single market
02 February, 2018
• YOUR correspondent writes: “There was never a progressive and left-wing case made for Leave in the referendum”, but this is not strictly true (Does Labour listen to the Leavers? January 26).
Historically, the case for leaving the EU was traditionally advanced by the left, hence the “old school” socialists of the Labour Party, such as Dennis Skinner and Tony Benn, were fervently anti-Common Market.
Union leaders such as the late Bob Crow also made the case for an “exit from the left”. Prior to the referendum the Lexit campaign was supported by the RMT, Aslef, BFAWU, TUAEU plus other organisations.
It is true that the right-wing case for Leave, as presented by Ukip, was far more prominent in its presentation to the public; it had greater financial backing.
I believe that a large number of people who consider themselves left-leaning were unaware of the under-represented case from the left for an exit, and thus positioned themselves as Remainers on a simplistic logic.
Having seen the Leave argument solely through the lens of the Tory right-wing and Ukip, whom they believe to be racist, they reasoned that the only correct position was the opposite of this – to back Remain.
Well-meaning perhaps, but uninformed of the leftist case for leaving the EU single market, which has led to wage disparities and other destructive effects.