Brexit And Partition

People Before Profit is an all-island party that fights for socialist politics. For years, our island has been dominated by conservative political institutions, North and South. Predictably, the Tory vision for Brexit has been a disaster.

The DUP aligned itself with the Tory Party to push through Brexit. They did so with total disregard for the democratically expressed wishes of the people in the North. They now wish to pose as opponents of the Irish protocol and use it to polarise politics to thwart their own political crisis.

People Before Profit reject this rhetoric entirely. The DUP is a right-wing party that wants to divide workers in order to get away with policies that defend privilege and wealth.

The debate on Brexit has thrown a sharp light on the absurdity of partition. Not only are we for greater economic integration between North and South – but we also want to remove the border entirely.

Like James Connolly, therefore, we reject any move to produce a hard border – not just because of the massive inconvenience it would cause, but because it would strengthen a reactionary settlement of Ireland’s national question – at the very time when that issue is re-emerging.

Neither London nor Brussels

What matters is the lives of working people in Ireland and Europe. Elites in neither London nor Brussels share this objective, as they both want to push neoliberalism in their respective areas and to make working people pay the costs. Neither should be seen as the partners of Irish workers.

People Before Profit fight for an Ireland that breaks from elites, be they in London, Dublin or Brussels. This Connollyite approach informs our view toward Brexit, which we see as a conflict between two reactionary blocks, the British state and the burgeoning EU Empire, with the people of Ireland caught in the middle and used as pawns in the game.

Both the EU and the British state are complicit in brutal austerity, denial of democracy and policies that result in the drowning of refugees. That is why we say neither London nor Brussels – but instead the interests of the working class.

Workers Shouldn’t Pay the Costs of Brexit

The British elite wants to make workers in the North and Britain pay for the cost of a break with the EU by creating a low wage, low regulation economy. People Before Profit insists that working people must not bear the cost of any dislocation that occurs because of Brexit.

We support an increase in wages to meet the heightened cost of living. We want increased investment in public enterprises to create jobs – particularly jobs that help mitigate against climate change, such as those in insulating buildings or developing public transport.

At the same time, we fight to redistribute wealth and income in the country away from the rich, toward the majority. This is the best insurance we now have against the bigger powers using Brexit for their own interests.

For a Border Poll

The Northern state is increasingly dysfunctional and crisis-ridden, and people have a democratic right to decide their future.

People Before Profit views the call for a border poll as a basic democratic demand which we support, and we will champion a new Ireland based on socialist politics.

Ending partition is not about attaching the northern state onto the reactionary southern state. Rather, it is about creating a new state, based on challenging the power of corporations, vulture funds, and wealthy elites, and instead creating an island that all workers from all communities can have a stake in.

We will fight for a new, radical Constitution which enshrines equal rights for all, including the right to a home, to free and accessible healthcare, a proper welfare support system, local services, environmental justice etc. for all who are born here or move here.

To summarise, we:

  • Support a border poll and will use a referendum campaign to fight for a radical, reunified Ireland based on progressive socialist politics.
  • Reject all moves to re-create a hard border, customs posts or immigration checks on the island of Ireland.
  • Reject moves to weaken the economic links between North and South.
  • Oppose neoliberal reforms imposed by London or Brussels.
  • Oppose the imperialism of both London and Brussels.
  • Oppose PESCO – the move towards a European Army.
  • Ensure that working people do not pay the economic costs of Brexit.