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International Socialism, April 1975


Notes of the Month

The Common Market


From International Socialism, No.77, April 1975, pp.3-13.
Transcribed & marked up by by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


THE REFERENDUM campaign is following its predicted course. The pro-EEC coalition, led by Harold Wilson, unites the CBI, the capitalist press, the Tory Party, the Liberal Party and right-wing Labour; the most important and reliable political forces of British capitalism. The ‘European’ propaganda effect is co-ordinated, appropriately enough, from a headquarters provided free by the building tycoon McAlpine.

But, of course, the role of the Labour right-wing is crucial. They provide the indispensable ‘popular’ component, the antidote to what the Economist calls the ‘danger ... that the pro-marketeers will, as they have done before, tarnish themselves until they look like participants in a businessmen’s ramp’.

Any amount of money is now being spent to wash the pro-EEC men whiter than white. And the elaborate charade of ‘re-negotiation’ – indispensable to enable the Labour right to head the pro-market campaign – was treated by the media with all the solemn coverage appropriate to an event of genuine importance.

The anti-EEC camp consists, as we predicted in February that it would, very largely of the Labour left and the trade union left and centre. Its opposition is based on muddled nationalistic and reformist arguments, although only the Communist Party has descended to the cruder forms of nationalist demagogy.

The place of socialists is, of course, firmly and unequivocally in the NO camp, alongside the great majority of class-conscious workers. But, equally, it is the duty of socialists to argue the internationalist case within that camp. In place of our usual Notes of the Month in this issue, we are publishing some of the background material, factual and historical, to assist in this argument.

What is the European Economic Community?

The Background: An Outline History of their Europe

Reformist Parties in the EEC

Guest Workers and Super-exploitation
by John Charlton

Major Trade Union Federations in the EEC

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