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Brexit scam: Up the garden path with Leo and Boris

13 September 2020

The fact that perfidious Albion, famous for tearing up agreements, are tearing up the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement has been met with astonishment and dismay by the coalition government in Dublin.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin used very strong language.  Trust had been eroded.  There was worry and concern.  Luckily however, he said that in a call yesterday Boris Johnson made it clear to him that the UK was 'fully committed to meeting its obligations'.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs minister Simon Coveney also expressed concern,  but expressed confidence that negotiation would resolve the crisis, although they all toughened their language when their big brother in Brussels joined in the fray.

No-one seems keen in discussing the role of Irish capitalism in facilitating this debacle.

The fact is that the current Tory government was elected on it's "Get Brexit done" appeal and that in turn rested on then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar taking a walk in the park with Boris Johnson and exchanging the "backstop" guarantee of no customs border in Ireland endorsed by the whole of Europe for the routine fake guarantees of the British state.

Johnson could have gone ahead with the election,  but it would have been on the basis of hard Brexit and total exit from the EU - a much harder case to win at the time.

The British Tories and their press are in no doubt about what has happened. They put the squeeze on the Irish and rolled them.  Their latest proposal to tear up the treaty with Europe is an attempt to roll the Irish again, along with other smaller states with economic ties to Britain.  A panicked Dublin government will plead with Brussels to make concessions.

But why is this strategy so successful?  There wasn't a murmur of complaint from either the left or the right when Leo first struck the dirty deal nor is there much complaint now when the deal has blown up in their faces.

The answer lies in the dual nature of the southern Irish economy and in the numbers 6 and 46.  The implantation of transnational companies is so large that it swamps native production. The effects are even greater when the growing financialisation of the state as a tax haven are taken into account.

In the total economy a hard Brexit is calculated to lead to a 6% decline.  In the native economy the calculation is of a catastrophic 46% decline.  British pressure is forcing the two elements apart.

The main concern of socialists should be a context where there is no opposition.  In Britain the Labour Party say nothing and are still suffocating the remnants of Corbynism.

In the North, where the collapse of the withdrawal agreement would have catastrophic consequences, the Unionists salute Boris and Sinn Fein line up with Dublin.  No-one else has anything to say and the majority vote against Brexit is rarely referenced.

The socialist groups in Britain and Ireland are also silent, still down the rabbit hole of Lexit and Irexit.

As we have said before, the starting point of socialist resistance is socialist policy.  No to Brexit!  No to a capitalist Europe of austerity! For a United Socialist States of Europe!

In the real world fights against capitalism are breaking out across Europe and across the globe.  We can also see at first hand the fascist and semi-fascist forces rallying in its defence.

Silently following in the wake of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael as they sell us out really isn't an option.

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