Syriza: Britain should stay in EU and fight for democracy and social justice

Greek MEP says EU is a platform for common struggles against neoliberalism

Greece is often used as a football by politicians to attack the EU. But Syriza MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis, whose country has more reason than most to dislike the EU, argues Britain should vote to stay in the European Union, and fight alongside Syriza and others for democracy and social justice.

The possible impact on worker’s rights of leaving the EU is the best answer to the pro-Brexit line of argument that says the isolation strategy of the Leave campaign on behalf of the British people, is for their benefit.

A series of labour rights like the working time directive, discrimination law, the right to a break and leave for working parents are only some among many, which could be affected by a Brexit.

Moreover, those rights, which are based on the UK’s relationship with the EU, are going to be the subject of future negotiations, possibly by the Conservative government.

But, answering the question of Leave or Remain, it’s not only a matter of a situation-specific analysis. Staying a member of the EU will be a progressive factor for the popular interest by principle, since only in that case the British people can share common aims with the rest of the struggling Europeans.

Overthrowing the neoliberal elite at both the national and the European level is a necessary precondition for an important political change. Staying a member of the EU might be a hard task that requires the democratic participation of the citizens, but it’s the only political platform in which people can have common struggles with the other European peoples.

Therefore, British people have to decide, whether, by principle, prefer to be on the side of the European people who jointly fight for more social justice, or alone, in the hands of the British elite who are already laying the ground for a U-Turn with regard to their labour rights.

It is no doubt that recession and further cuts to the welfare state and pensions are part of UK’s bleak future as soon as they cut ties with European social standards.

No referendum outcome offers anything resembling a progressive change without international cooperation, democratic participation and a European change for all.

For this reason, Britain should not leave the EU. On the contrary, British people should use the opportunity to change politics in their country by supporting a democratic change under Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, in order to create a European Alliance against extreme neoliberalism.

National strategies are no longer an option and we do not intend to return to the national competition that Europe has suffered decades ago.

The British people need to ride the wave of progressive changes all over Europe and become the catalyst for more democracy and social justice. Changing Europe can be a cooperative project, not a project for national isolationism.

Dimitrios Papadimoulis is an MEP for Syriza, the Coalition for the Radical Left in Greece

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5 Responses to “Syriza: Britain should stay in EU and fight for democracy and social justice”

  1. NHSGP

    Don’t worry. On Friday the UK is out.

    You’ll have to get someone else in the EU to fund your debt.

  2. NHSGP

    The British people need to ride the wave of progressive changes all over Europe and become the catalyst for more democracy and social justice.


    The UK tried, and was rebuffed. The EU isn’t interested.

    common aims with the rest of the struggling Europeans.

    The Common Aim is to get rid of the people that caused the mess. Scotland has got rid of Labour. Come the next election, they will do the same in England because of Labour’s support for the EU. They have seen what the EU did to Greece.

    So any Labour campaigner turning up is going to be told where to go for their support for the EU.

    The left need to start afresh. A new left wing party clean of the taint and stench.

  3. CR

    And we’ve seen what the EU does to socialist governments that try to stand up for their people !!!

    The EU has systematically attacked the workers rights in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and now France. Tony Benn was right all along, the EU is nothing more than a capitalist club.

  4. Nick

    I myself retired from the bank of England fully support the Greek view to stay in the EU

    The prime minister made his view clear for us to remain and although i dislike David Cameron he is right on this topic.

    jo cox had spent her short life in looking out for others and i myself have spent all my life in looking out for others like jo first

    Those wishing to remain know in their heart this is the right sort of thinking and those who wont out are as usual only thinking of themselves with ideologies half baked and rely on to many ifs

    Many countries in the world would give everything to be part of the EU as they flounder in destitution and death in their own dictatorial countries

    I mean lets face facts who wants to be led by Boris Johnson / IDS ETC with Donald trump and Nigel farage chipping in’ that sound like a recipe for disaster and i cant for the life of me see the public voting to come out of the EU

    jo cox was for a united EU and that’s the way this referendum will pan out

  5. Mike Stallard

    I have just read Janis Varoufakis, a Socialist Finance Minister in Greece.
    I know whose views I prefer…
    And they are not the views of Goldman Sachs!

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