BORIS JOHNSON’S PLAN to dismiss parliament to clear the way for a no deal Brexit amounts to a constitutional coup that exposes the Brexit extremists’ contempt for democracy. This government with no mandate and no majority is attempting to railroad us into a hard Brexit as a prelude to a shock therapy trade deal with Trump’s USA — meaning massive deregulation, privatisation of the NHS, ignoring the climate catastrophe, and intensified imperialist competition with the European Union.
By presenting parliament as the enemy of the people, Johnson is playing with fire. We have to fight this populist fire with the flames of the class struggle: let’s launch a massive campaign of labour movement direct action to make the country ungovernable and stop the no deal coup by any means necessary — including mass demonstrations and political strike action.
The vacillation of the Labour leadership since the referendum has led our movement into a moment of existential danger. We face on the one hand Johnson’s war cabinet, proceeding under the lash of Nigel Farage’s extremists. On the other, the Liberal rump and its sympathisers on the Labour backbenches think they can play kingmaker and dictate our leadership and its strategy.
Parliamentary manoeuvres to delay no deal — however successful in the short run — ultimately will blunt Labour’s message, and play into Johnson’s demagogic attempt to cast himself as the genuine defender of democracy – unless there is a movement of millions on the streets that says this is what democracy looks like.
Against the dictatorship of Johnson’s no deal coup, we fight for the democracy of the streets: Labour parties, trade unions, and campaigns should form councils of action to coordinate the resistance of demonstrations, meetings, and direct action in every town and city.
The most direct route out of the democratic impasse is to force Johnson into general election at a time of our choosing, elect Labour to power, and for a Labour govermnent to call a referendum that gives the people the final say between the Withdrawal Agreement or remaining in the EU.
We have always opposed the reactionary far-right Brexit project and rejected the delusion of the Lexit alchemists that it can be transformed into a progressive step for Britain’s multi-national working class. Only stopping Brexit irrevocably can preserve the limited gains of free movement and stop an attack on the rights of millions of workers and young people living here on EU passports.
But now is the time for all Labour and trade union leaders — whatever their views on the possibility of achieving a “good” Brexit – to recognise the immediate danger is a No Deal Brexit. We call on everyone opposed to this nightmare scenario to organise mass direct action to stop Johnson’s coup.
We need to seize the initiative and leadership of the resistance to Johnson’s no deal coup. We should be fighting for a radical anti-austerity Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn, committed to:
The fight for this real alternative starts today. Trade unions, labour parties, and working class organisations should elect delegates to councils of action to coordinate the resistance. We need mass demonstrations up and down the country. We need meetings and rallies to mobilise communities. Our movement must organise self-defence against the inevitable violence of the fascist and far right Brexit extremists. If Johnson goes to the Queen, we should surround parliament, and the TUC must call a general strike to stop the no deal coup dead in its tracks.
National committee, 28 August 2019