Saturday, June 25, 2016

Europe’s Panicked Bosses Respond To Historic Break
by James Tweedie
Morning Star

Junker leads crisis talks as Merkel says EU must stay close to Britain

PANICKED European leaders struggled to find a coherent response to Thursday’s Leave vote by the British public.

Unelected European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker held crisis discussions with European Parliament president Martin Schulz, European Council president Donald Tusk and Dutch PM Mark Rutte yesterday morning.

The leaders vowed “to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be,” — effectively making an example of Britain as a warning to others tempted to leave the undemocratic bloc.

Mr Tusk said: “We are determined to keep our unity at 27,” but acknowledged “there’s no way of predicting all the political consequences of this event, especially for the UK.”

Mr Rutte claimed: “We’re in the process of reforming the European Union.”


Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU was strong enough to find the “right answers” to the referendum result.

She said Germany had a “special interest” and a “special responsibility” in European unity succeeding. She voiced “great regret” at the British decision and said the bloc must aim for a “close” future relationship with Westminster.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas called the “decision by a narrow majority of Britons” a “black Friday for Europe,” while Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the “sobering” news was “a sad day for Europe and Britain.


Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said the referendum dealt a severe blow to European unification and should force a shift toward more “democratic” practices within the European Union.

Greece’s rejection of penury terms for its third banking bailout in last year’s referendum was simply ignored by the EU “troika” of creditors.

Mr Tspiras called for a swift change of course in EU thinking, saying politics must retake the lead “from the economy and technocrats.


Italian PM Matteo Renzi tweeted: “We have to change it to make it more humane and more just, but Europe is our home, it’s our future.”

He said: “The house must be remodelled, maybe freshened up, but it’s the house of our tomorrow,” claiming young people were asking for “more Europe’” to realise their dreams and expectations.


Spain’s acting Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo said Madrid should take advantage of the vote to push for regaining control of Gibraltar.

“I hope the joint sovereignty formula, or to put it clearly, the Spanish flag on the Rock — is much closer rather than further away,” he said.


Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, whose country is not an EU member, said the vote was “a boost for extreme forces that want less co-operation in Europe” — “anti-establishment, anti-globalisation, anti-EU forces (…) that can be pretty extreme.”


Poland’s Foreign Ministry said the vote was a “warning signal” of disillusionment with the EU.

“It is imperative that we reform the EU by cutting red tape, increasing the democratic legitimacy of its decisions, and better adapting it to new challenges,” the statement said.

The Pope

Pope Francis said the British decision reflected the will of its people and that Britain and the rest of the continent must now work towards coexistence.

Brexit Won’t Slay The TTIP Trade Beast, Union Says

by Conrad Landin in Britain

TRADE DEALS undermining workers’ rights and forcing privatisations will not be seen off by Brexit, Unison delegates feared yesterday.

A motion tabled at the union’s conference said that the likes of EU-US trade deal TTIP “harm existing EU and UK labour, social, environmental and consumer standards and regulations.”

TTIP’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism allows US corporations to sue European governments in secret courts for loss of profits if they are prevented from taking over public services.

But delegates warned that Tories could now sign Britain up to an even worse deal.

“I truly wish last night’s vote made this debate irrelevant,” Unison executive member Jane Carolan said. “But we will still be subject to TTIP via the single market, and some of the most extreme
Brexiteers who support new trade treaties are TTIP’s biggest supporters.“Labour standards and union rights are under threat.”

She said a new Tory leader could take an even more aggressive stance than David Cameron in promoting neoliberal trade reforms, calling Boris Johnson “a chancer, a clown and an upper-class twit.”

Hounslow delegate Esther Ray said: “Yes, we’re out of Europe. But TTIP’s never going away, even if we’re out of Europe.

“Because the one thing we’ve got against us is a Tory government. A Tory government that loves privatisation in any way.

“The only way we defeat TTIP is to get rid of the Tories, and call a general election as soon as possible and make Jeremy Corbyn our prime minister.”

‘Labour Can Reunite Britain’

by Luke James in Britain
British Morning Star

JEREMY CORBYN vowed yesterday to “heal the divisions” left by a bitter referendum campaign that claimed the scalp of David Cameron and sparked a Blairite coup against his own leadership.

Mr Corbyn said only his party could bring Britain back together following a shock Leave vote that had sparked a Tory leadership contest before breakfast.

And unions representing nearly four million workers swung behind the Labour leader, urging party MPs not to indulge in a “manufactured” leadership contest.

“Labour is best placed to reunite the country,” Mr Corbyn wrote in a statement after an emergency shadow cabinet meeting.

“We can do so because we didn’t engage in project fear and because we share people’s dissatisfaction with the status quo.

“The Prime Minister has resigned and the Tories are deeply divided at a time when the country needs to come together and we need stability to head off economic crisis.”

The PM fell on his sword as Britain woke to the bombshell news that voters had chosen by a 52-48 margin to break ties with Brussels after 43 years.

In a hastily arranged resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron, his voice cracking with emotion, announced he would step aside before the next Conservative Party conference in October.

Behind-the-scenes manoeuvrings of Tory leadership hopefuls, headed by Boris Johnson and Theresa May, will erupt into open warfare in the coming weeks.

Mr Corbyn’s emphasis on stability also comes after two backbenchers tabled a motion of no confidence in his leadership after they tried to pin the blame on him for the result.

Dame Margaret Hodge submitted the motion, seconded by Ann Coffey, to the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Most of Ms Hodge’s Barking constituents voted to leave.

“Leaders have to take responsibility and he has to take his share of responsibility for this, and he should resign,” said Stockport MP Ms Coffey.

The MPs hope the motion, which would be non-binding but hugely disruptive, will be discussed at a PLP meeting on Monday night and submitted to a secret ballot on Tuesday.

But the Star understands that any discussion could be delayed because Labour rules require motions to be circulated at least seven days in advance of a meeting.

Labour MP Grahame Morris said: “These are incredible circumstances but the rules are there. It might be a good thing for people to reflect on this over the course of a week.

“I think it was inevitable, whatever the results, that some people would seek to do that. I think they’re just looking for any opportunity really.”

There were also reports that MPs on Labour’s right were beginning to gather the 51 signatures needed from MPs and MEPs to trigger a fresh leadership election.

The plotters hope to replace Mr Corbyn by September so they’d be in place for a snap general election that is may be called by the new Tory leader.

But senior party figures and unions urged colleagues to rally round Mr Corbyn and take advantage of the Tory crisis.

Deputy leader Tom Watson said Labour should “provide stability in a period of great instability for our country.”

And the general secretaries of a dozen Labour-affiliated unions said the party needed to “unite as a source of national stability and unity” in the absence of a “government that puts the people first.”

The statement — backed by Unite, Unison, GMB, CWU, Ucatt, TSSA, Aslef, FBU, Musicians Union, Bectu, BFAWU and NUM — said that Labour “should focus on speaking up for jobs and workers’ rights under threat and on challenging any attempt to use the referendum result to introduce a more right-wing Tory government by the backdoor.

“The last thing Labour needs is a manufactured leadership row of its own in the midst of this crisis and we call upon all Labour MPs not to engage in any such indulgence.

A petition expressing confidence in Mr Corbyn’s leadership on the 38 Degrees website had over 80,000 signatures as the Star went to press.

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